OLaf Scholz looks exhausted. It's a late Friday afternoon in Washington, and the Chancellor has just completed what he flew to the American capital for a 24-hour visit. He met with Joe Biden for almost two hours in the Oval Office of the White House, “a very long, detailed working conversation,” as Scholz says, making a final statement before departure to Lafayette Park opposite the White House.
“The relations between the United States and Germany are of the utmost importance and are closer and amicable than they have been in many years and decades,” is his first sentence. When it comes to being the greatest transatlanticist in Germany, Scholz cannot be surpassed by anyone.
This is not a given for a chancellor from the German Social Democratic Party, in which anti-Americanism was as widespread as love of Russia for decades. Scholz only contracted this disease when he was younger, but he overcame it for a long time. As Chancellor, he recognized the new German rearmament problem at the latest through Putin's war of aggression on Ukraine, and experienced his Helmut Schmidt moment, so to speak.
He quickly ordered American F-35 fighter jets to secure Germany's nuclear participation. It's about the ability to use German aircraft to bring American nuclear weapons to the target – an important part of nuclear deterrence that the Mützenichs in his party wanted to abolish a few years earlier. Scholz has recognized that Germany is defenseless without America. At the same time, he understood that the Americans' demands on the Europeans to do more for their own security are not only justified, but that they must finally have consequences.
Germany calls for support for Ukraine
The 100 billion special fund for the Bundeswehr was the signal for this. 80 billion of these are already occupied. Germany is also achieving the two percent target that the Americans have rightly accused it of failing to meet for so long. And for Ukraine, Germany is the largest donor in Europe, far ahead of France, Italy or Spain, which Scholz more or less bluntly accuses of fleeing into irresponsibility in the face of the unabated Russian war of aggression.
The federal government calculates that Germany will spend 0.18 percent of its gross domestic product on Ukraine this year, while the USA will spend 0.1 percent – which means that we don't have to hide from the Americans either. The German taxpayer is paying around 15 billion euros for Ukraine this year: 7.4 billion for arms deliveries, five billion for Ukrainian refugees who receive citizen's benefit, another two to three billion for the Ukrainian budget and humanitarian aid.