Who is Wolfgang Schmidt: One year into the war and the cracks within the German government have become clearer than ever. Today, the German populace is utterly confused that who exactly is running Berlin. While the face of government is Olaf Scholz, leaders like Habeck and Baerbock have often attempted to portray themselves as strongmen of the German government.
But, is their fight with Scholz limited just to German chancellery or leadership? No, it appears that one major man is behind the rift, and all this chaos is focused just around him.
Meet Wolfgang Schmidt
The name of this man is Wolfgang Schmidt and he is the closest aide of Olaf Scholz for the last 20 years. Wolfgang Schmidt is the most powerful official in Berlin and the go-to person for influencing the Chancellor’s policies despite his lack of public recognition.
Additionally, he is the brain behind important government decisions, such as those relating to German security and foreign policy over Russia and China.
This has been written in history that the head of the chancellery don’t normally dabble in foreign policy, confining their work to domestic politics and administrative tasks. In the midst of a bitter dispute between Scholz and his actual foreign minister, Green Party member Annalena Baerbock, the fact that Wolfgang Schmidt plays such a significant role in foreign policy is believed to be the primal source of controversy.
Even politicians from SPD agree that Wolfgang Schmidt, who also oversees Germany’s domestic and foreign intelligence services, is the man who’s calling the shots on the big decisions, in close coordination with the chancellor.
It is also been alleged that Wolfgang Schmidt has made a lot of international contacts and cultivated a lot of networks since the time Scholz acquired chancellery in his hands.
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Their friendship dates back to the time of 1990s. Olaf Scholz, the head of the SPD branch in the Altona district, and Wolfgang Schmidt, a law student pursuing a career as a judge, first crossed paths in Hamburg in the early 1990s. Scholz liked Schmidt right away, finding it funny that his long hair reminded him of himself ten years earlier.
Cut to 2022, when Scholz was appointed as the SPD secretary-general. He convinced Wolfgang Schmidt to become his personal adviser, and since then, Schmidt’s career has been closely intertwined with Scholz’s. Scholz went on to become the social affairs minister, then the Hamburg mayor, and eventually the vice chancellor and finance minister in 2018.
In 2021, Scholz was appointed chancellor, solidifying Schmidt’s position as a trusted advisor and member of Scholz’s inner circle.
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Wolfgang Schmidt has frequently refrained from responding to these allegations because he is aware of his wrongdoing. It appears Schmidt is acting like the shadow foreign minister of Germany. This might be the reason why Baerbock and Habeck are enraged over Olaf Scholz.
The Chancellor is chosen by the people to lead and act on their behalf in a democratic system. The electorate holds the Chancellor ultimately accountable for the results of their choices.
As a result, it is essential that the Chancellor maintains control and authority over decisions, and the government should not be run by a third party.
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