Friedrich Merz versus Olaf Scholz: In parliament, opposition leaders and chancellors meet in the general debate. Hot heart against cool head. Or was it the other way around? In the end, there was one winner in particular: democracy.

There was once a chancellor who coined the wondrous phrase in a television interview: “That may be the reality, but the reality is different.” The same wisdom, which is not only valid in politics, came from the same Chancellor: “What matters is what comes out at the end.” And with these two big sentences by Helmut Kohl, we are right in the middle of the action and the general debate on the Chancellor’s budget in the Bundestag.

It is considered to be one of the high points of the parliamentary year and offers the opposition leader the opportunity to launch an all-round attack on government policy and the chancellor to pay homage to the motto “Promise good things and talk about them”.