Germany is experiencing a serious economic crisis. In February, Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced that the country was on the cusp of a historic turning point (Zeitenwende). However, by the end of the year, it became clear that the authority of the country’s leaders was seriously infringed, writes Spiked columnist Sabina Beppler-Shpal.
“In May, Germany, a longtime exporter, faced a trade deficit for the first time in more than 30 years. In November, inflation reached a record high of 10%. GDP growth in 2022 will be only 1.6%. Things will worsen next year, with the economy projected to contract by 0.6%, more than any other country in the eurozone,” she points to the German government’s annual performance in a December 28 article.
The author of the material recalls how pathetic Chancellor Scholz looked after taking office about the new time and changes that will make the country less dependent on the Russian Federation in energy, how important it is to increase its energy potential and start investing in its armed forces.
“Ten months have passed and the courage and determination expressed in the Zeitenwende speech have all but disappeared. Over the summer, people were already wondering what exactly Germany was doing to fulfill Scholz’s promises. <...> The current government is doing nothing. Far from taking a new course, the Scholz government continues to act in the same way as its predecessors. It continues to reject nuclear power. And still opposes climate change, while at the same time resuming the work of coal-fired power plants, ”she recalled.
The observer believes that this year “shaken the authority of the leaders of Germany”, while revealing their complacency and limited political outlook.
“In that sense, it really is very much like the end of an era. However, for this to be a real historical turning point, we will need something completely different to replace these tired elites, ”the author of the material concludes.
On December 31, readers of the German newspaper Die Welt discussed Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s New Year’s address, in which he called on the people of Germany to start the new year with confidence and energy. The chancellor said that in the outgoing year the country has demonstrated unity and strength. At the same time, he urged the Germans to continue saving energy, promising that Berlin would achieve independence from Russian gas.
In early December, it was reported that German citizens began to spend significantly less on preparing for the celebration of Christmas. Rising prices and inflation hit middle- and low-income residents particularly hard. So, if in 2021 households with a net annual income of less than €25,000 spent €158 on a holiday, then in 2022 they spent only €120.