Although Chancellor Scholz is not a member of a church himself, he received a warm welcome at the Catholic Day in Stuttgart. He commented mockingly on an incident involving an activist.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) has accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of wanting to blame the West for the hunger crisis triggered by his attack on Ukraine.

This “Putinian narrative” must be refuted, said Scholz on Friday at the Catholic Day in Stuttgart. “He found a formula for it. He always speaks of us as the global West,” said Scholz.

By that, Putin means his enemies, against whom he wants to ally himself with all other countries. “The hunger crisis that the war he instigated is triggering, he then tries at the same time to blame those who support Ukraine.” It is therefore important to approach the countries of the Global South on an equal footing and not drive them into Putin’s arms. Ukraine, considered the granary of Europe, can export far less wheat as a result of the war. In addition, important supply chains have been disrupted by the fighting.

“We have decided to help the victims of this war of aggression,” said Scholz. “Putin’s war is directed against a peace order that arose from the commitment “Never again” after two devastating world wars. He wants to go back to the law of the strongest.”

Concern about Chinese loans to poor countries

During Scholz’s performance in the Stuttgart Liederhalle, an activist tried to storm onto the stage. However, he was prevented from doing so by security forces, overpowered and carried away. Another activist shouted “bullshit” when Scholz was talking about phasing out coal-fired power generation. Scholz commented mockingly on the action, saying that he experienced it “always from the same people”, it was an “acting performance”. He received thunderous applause for it.

In a conversation with, among others, the President of the Central Committee of German Catholics (ZdK), Irme Stetter-Karp, Scholz warned of a global economic and financial crisis with regard to the extensive granting of Chinese loans to poorer countries. Germany is coordinating with western creditor countries in order not to repeat past mistakes. “One of the very, very big ambitions that we are pursuing is to include China, as a country that is issuing many loans in a new way,” said Scholz. Otherwise there is a “really serious risk” that the next major debt crisis is imminent.

Scholz, who left the Protestant Church and took his oath of office in December without the divine formula “So help me God”, was given a warm welcome at the Catholic Day. You could clearly feel the relief that the head of government had found his way to Stuttgart. Not a single representative from the front row appeared from the CDU, which had always shown a massive flag at Catholic Days in the past. Like Federal President Franz-Walter Steinmeier before him, Scholz also thanked the Catholics for their social commitment during the corona pandemic.

Society can only overcome the current crisis caused by rising prices together, said Scholz. People need to feel that it is also about them and their specific everyday problems. “If too many have no hope, then things go wrong,” he warned.