A press conference with Mahmoud Abbas gets out of hand. Robin Alexander finds clear words from Markus Lanz (ZDF) about how Olaf Scholz should have reacted.
Berlin – At Markus Lanz (ZDF) Robin Alexander (deputy editor-in-chief of “Welt”), Harald Lesch (professor of physics), Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann (FDP) and Ulf-Jensen Röller (television journalist) discuss in a polyphonic potpourri about the press conference, in which the Holocaust remained uncommented and, according to the FDP, a non-existent excess profit tax.
The mood at Olaf Scholz has “a very constant temperature,” says Robin Alexander. It’s amazing when everything around him is heating up. The five Nordic countries had met with the German chancellor, but even if Norway is a raw material country: Technically, more can not be promoted there. Immediately after this appointment, the chancellor flew to a press conference with the President of Palestine, Mahmoud Abbas, who raged about 50 alleged Israeli massacres and drew a comparison to the Holocaust.
Markus Lanz (ZDF): Olaf Scholz should have “parried an outrageous sentence”
When the concept of apartheid came up in the direction of Israel, Olaf Scholz was apparently prepared, but the Chancellor said nothing about the concept of the Holocaust. Why not? “Scholz is a politician who deeply distrusts reflexes” and wants to think everything through carefully, explains the deputy editor-in-chief of “Welt” at Markus Lanz (ZDF). But “Scholz should have parried this outrageous sentence” at the end of the press conference.” Mahmoud Abbas was treasurer of the Fatah movement and is said to have known about the plans for the 1972 attack in Munich. In his doctoral thesis he already put the Holocaust into perspective. “He can’t say something like that, especially not in Germany”: A country that has a particularly close relationship with Israel. Robin Alexander draws unfavorable comparisons to Documenta 15, where the Holocaust is also “fatally” put into perspective.
How many communication errors are still to come?
This press conference and the “lack of responsiveness on the part of the chancellor” is also a major topic internationally, explains Ulf-Jensen Röller. It is part of Germany’s “political DNA to pay attention to the Holocaust”. He also found the crisis management afterwards difficult, as did Harald Lesch, who was critical of the handshake that followed between Olaf Scholz and Mahmoud Abbas. But didn’t Olaf Scholz also shake hands with Vladimir Putin in the Kremlin? A wrong sending of signals out of trained politeness? Steffen Hebestreit, as communications manager in the Chancellery, admitted to mistakes immediately after the press conference – if the Federal Chancellor “has a communications strategist at his side” then Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann would have expected him to ask specific questions again at the press conference whether Olaf Scholz would like to say anything more about these words. Since politeness would have been appropriate.
Robin Alexander sees “no honest communication” in politics at Markus Lanz (ZDF)
“It’s a monstrosity” to simply remain silent, even if it has an unpredictability where the words could lead, Robin Alexander finds clear words here too. He says from the press area that Olaf Scholz “pamped Steffen Hebestreit” afterwards: You noticed immediately afterwards that the “child fell into the well”, but “it was already in the well.”
|“Markus Lanz” (ZDF) – broadcast from August 17, 2022||The guests of the show|
|Robin Alexander||Deputy Editor-in-Chief of the “Welt”|
|Harald Lesch||Professor of Physics|
|Marie Agnes Strack Zimmermann||politician (FDP)|
|Ulf Jensen Roller||TV journalist|
Just another crisis coming to a head. Even on a national level, it looks like a communicative wasteland with a view to winter. Christian Lindner tried to be clever with the gas allocation, explains Robin Alexander to Markus Lanz (ZDF). “The original idea of the Greens was: Let’s do this in solidarity.” But keeping the oil emergency in check with money from the federal budget would have meant either more debt in the federal budget or tax increases. “That’s why Robert Habeck had to come up with this gas levy.” It also has a certain solidarity, because everyone who gets gas pays, no matter who the consumer is.
But how can it be communicated as pleasantly as possible that the state is also benefiting greatly from VAT? “They wanted to say the net amount on Monday first,” that sounded better, along with: “You might not have to pay the VAT,” only to announce just a day later: “Oh, bad luck, you have to pay it, because: Brussels is to blame.” According to the deputy editor-in-chief of “Welt”: “No honest communication” and certainly not a “heroic fight to relieve the burden on the citizens”, but only “political calculation”.
Markus Lanz (ZDF): Profits of the oil companies themselves “indecent for outright capitalists”
Why isn’t the surplus tax a solution when it seems to be in Italy? “There is no excess profit,” explains Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann. “There’s profit or there’s no profit.” And it’s almost also solidarity because “everyone pays taxes on profits.” And those with particularly high profits also pay more taxes. In addition, it has always been the case that there are companies “that earn a lot from crises.”
Harald Lesch is not the only one who shakes his head in desperation at Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann’s remarks and moans: “The oil companies have multiplied their profits x-fold”: These figures are “indecent even for an outright capitalist”. Solidarity would be something else, since Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermanns – in the style of the FDP – cannot distract or divert the discussion. (Tina Waldeck)