Russia’s war against Ukraine, the difficult situation in the global economy, the climate crisis: the G7 summit is packed with serious issues. But what else happened there? A little overview.
The Russian war of aggression in Ukraine and its consequences are the dominant topics of the G7 summit at Schloss Elmau in Bavaria.
But serious as the situation is, just before their first working session, the G7 leaders poked fun at Russian President Vladimir Putin. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was the last to join the round at Schloss Elmau on Sunday afternoon, as can be seen on television pictures. In view of the high temperatures, he asked whether jackets were to be taken off or not, adding: “We all have to show that we are tougher than Putin.” The Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau replied, among other things: Riding with a bare chest, you have to do that. He alluded to a well-known photo of Putin in such a pose. The quotes were recorded by camera crews who were briefly allowed to film in the room before the start of the G7 round.
Make way for Biden
After landing at Munich Airport, most of the heads of state and government were taken by helicopter from Munich Airport to Schloss Elmau, almost all of them by the federal police. Not so, of all people, Joe Biden, who arrived in the middle of the night on Sunday. The US President was flown from Munich to a small airport in Ohlstadt, but then covered the last 40 kilometers in a limousine. And so that no demonstrators could get in the way of the president, the police in Garmisch, for example, blocked the entire route through the middle of the city long beforehand with barriers and a large number of emergency services – crossing impossible. Apparently, most of them took it easy: when the column of presidents finally passed the route, there were even occasional cheers from onlookers.
G7 affiliate program with ladies only
The husband of EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen was missing, so it soon became clear that the traditional G7 partner program would become an all-women group. But the First Lady of the USA, Jill Biden, and other partners did not come to Elmau either. In the end there were only four participants: hostess Britta Ernst, the wife of Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Brigitte Macron, the wife of the French President, Boris Johnson’s wife Carrie and Amélie Derbaudrenghien, the wife of EU Council President Charles Michel. The program for the partners included activities appropriate to the region: Nordic walking with the ski stars Christian Neureuther and his daughter-in-law Miriam, talks with researchers from Germany’s highest environmental research station in the Schneefernerhaus and a meeting with a master violin maker from nearby Mittenwald.
Soeder and the G6
Bavaria’s Prime Minister Markus Söder welcomed the G7 leaders in advance via Twitter on Saturday – but one was missing from the photo: the Chancellor. “The world as a guest in Bavaria: Welcome to Bavaria,” wrote the CSU boss. “We welcome the most important heads of state in the world.” Apart from the fact that not all are actually heads of state, but “only” heads of government, the photo only showed six instead of seven, quasi G6 instead of G7: Biden, Macron, Johnson, Trudeau, Italy’s Prime Minister Mario Draghi and Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida. Ironically, Scholz was missing – which brought Söder a lot of criticism and ridicule on Twitter. A Twitter user just looked up the CSU welcome photo for the 2015 G7 summit in Elmau: At that time there were seven – with Chancellor Angela Merkel in the foreground.
Helicopter flight for journalists
The Bundeswehr flew journalists from the international press center in Garmisch-Partenkirchen to Schloss Elmau for the G7 summit. Because of a larger demonstration in the city, including G7 opponents, roads were impassable on Sunday afternoon, said a Bundeswehr soldier who was involved in the action. In order to get the journalists to a press event at the conference hotel in time, it was decided to fly them with a Sikorsky CH-53 transport helicopter.