Who is Olaf Scholz?

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Germany’s next chancellor has depicted himself as an heir to Merkel, but how will he govern?

  • Olaf Scholz, Germany’s next chancellor, is considered so dry and unexciting, he’s been called “Scholz-O-Mat” for his mechanical demeanor. But dry and unexciting is what many Germans want in a leader.
  • It was due to Scholz’s relative popularity that his Social Democratic Party, the SPD, eked out a narrow victory in the German federal election held in September.
  • Scholz is a centrist and, during the election campaign, portrayed himself as a natural heir to the outgoing chancellor, Angela Merkel, under whom he has served as finance minister.
  • He even sometimes mimicked Merkel’s “rhobmus,” her famous signature hand gesture of connecting fingertips.
  • He is seen as someone who will continue her steady, restrained approach, offering what many Germans seem to crave most from their leaders: Stability.
  • Scholz’s rise marks something of a resurgence for Germany’s center-left Social Democratic Party, which after many years of decline, was written off as all but dead.
  • But it’s not clear whether the SPD victory and his new left-leaning government amounts to a temporary blip, or the beginning of a longer term shift in German politics.
  • Today, we bring you some biographical articles of Scholz and assess how he will govern as the head of Germany’s new three-party coalition government.
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