Olaf Scholz is a German politician who has served as the chancellor of Germany since 8 December 2021.
81 Facts About Olaf Scholz
Olaf Scholz was First Mayor of Hamburg from 2011 to 2018 and deputy leader of the SPD from 2009 to 2019.
Olaf Scholz became a member of the SPD in the 1970s and was a member of the Bundestag from 1998 to 2011.
Olaf Scholz served in the Hamburg Government under First Mayor Ortwin Runde in 2001, before his election as General Secretary of the SPD in 2002, serving alongside SPD leader and then-Chancellor Gerhard Schroder.
Olaf Scholz became his party's Chief Whip in the Bundestag, later entering the First Merkel Government in 2007 as Minister of Labour and Social Affairs.
Olaf Scholz led his party to victory in the 2011 Hamburg state election, and became First Mayor, holding that position until 2018.
On 8 December 2021, Olaf Scholz was elected and sworn in as Chancellor by the Bundestag.
Three days after the invasion, Olaf Scholz set out the principles of a new German defence policy in his Zeitenwende speech.
Olaf Scholz was born on 14 June 1958, in Osnabruck, Lower Saxony, but grew up in Hamburg's Rahlstedt district.
Olaf Scholz has two younger brothers, Jens Scholz, an anesthesiologist and CEO of the University Medical Center Schleswig Holstein; and Ingo Scholz, a tech entrepreneur.
Olaf Scholz later found employment as a lawyer specialising in labour and employment law, working at the law firm Zimmermann, Scholz und Partner.
Olaf Scholz joined the Social Democratic Party at the age of 17.
Olaf Scholz's family is traditionally Lutheran and he was baptized in the Evangelical Church in Germany; he holds largely secular views and left the Church in adulthood, but has called for appreciation of the country's Christian heritage and culture.
Olaf Scholz joined the SPD in 1975 as a student, where he got involved with the Jusos, the youth organization of the SPD.
Olaf Scholz supported the Freudenberger Kreis, the Marxist wing of the Juso university groups, promoting "overcoming the capitalist economy" in articles.
In 1987, Olaf Scholz crossed the inner-German border again and stood up for disarmament agreements as Juso-Vice at an FDJ peace rally in Wittenberg.
Olaf Scholz served on the Committee for Labor and Social Matters.
Olaf Scholz resigned his mandate on 6 June 2001, to take office as Senator.
On 30 May 2001, Olaf Scholz succeeded Senator for the Interior of Hamburg, Hartmuth Wrocklage, in the Senate of Hamburg led by Mayor Ortwin Runde.
Olaf Scholz followed Wrocklage as Deputy Member of the Bundesrat.
Olaf Scholz left office in October 2001, after the defeat of his party at the 2001 Hamburg state election and the election of Ole von Beust as First Mayor.
Olaf Scholz's successor was Ronald Schill, who had won on a Law and order platform, with an emphasis on harsh penalties for drug dealers.
Olaf Scholz was elected again to the Bundestag in the 2002 German federal election.
From 2002 to 2004, Olaf Scholz served as General Secretary of the SPD; he resigned from that office when party leader and Chancellor Gerhard Schroder, facing disaffection within his own party and hampered by persistently low public approval ratings, announced he would step down as Leader of the Social Democratic Party.
Olaf Scholz was one of a series of politicians who sparked debate over the German journalistic norm of allowing interviewees to "authorize" and amend quotes before publication, after his press team insisted on heavily rewriting an interview with Die Tageszeitung in 2003.
Editor Bascha Mika condemned the behavior as a "betrayal of the claim to a free press" and the newspaper ultimately published the interview with Olaf Scholz's answers blacked out.
Olaf Scholz served as the SPD spokesperson on the inquiry committee investigating the German Visa Affair in 2005.
Olaf Scholz served as a member of the Parliamentary Oversight Panel, which provides parliamentary oversight of the German intelligence services; the BND, MAD and BfV.
Olaf Scholz resigned from his Bundestag mandate on 10 March 2011, three days after he had been elected as First Mayor of Hamburg.
In 2007, Olaf Scholz joined the Merkel Government, succeeding Franz Muntefering as Minister of Labour and Social Affairs.
In 2011, Olaf Scholz was the lead SPD candidate at the Hamburg state election, which the SPD won with 48.3 per cent of the votes, taking 62 of 121 seats in the Hamburg Parliament.
Olaf Scholz resigned as a Member of the Bundestag on 11 March 2011, days after his formal election as First Mayor of Hamburg; Dorothee Stapelfeldt, a Social Democrat, was appointed his Deputy First Mayor.
Olaf Scholz was asked to participate in exploratory talks between the CDU, CSU and SPD parties to form a coalition government following the 2013 federal election.
Alongside fellow Social Democrats Jorg Asmussen and Thomas Oppermann, Olaf Scholz was reported in the media to be a possible successor to Schauble in the post of Finance Minister at the time; whilst Schauble remained in post, the talks to form a coalition were ultimately successful.
In 2015, Olaf Scholz led Hamburg's bid to host the 2024 Summer Olympics with an estimated budget of 11.2 billion euros, competing against Los Angeles, Paris, Rome, and Budapest; the citizens of Hamburg later rejected the city's candidacy in a referendum, with more than half voting against the project.
In 2017, Olaf Scholz received criticism over his handling of riots that took place during the G20 summit in Hamburg.
Olaf Scholz was sworn in alongside the rest of the Government on 14 March 2018, taking the role of Vice Chancellor of Germany under Angela Merkel.
In 2019, Olaf Scholz ran for leader of the SPD, but lost to Norbert Walter-Borjans.
Olaf Scholz oversaw the implementation of the Next Generation EU, the European Union's 750 billion euro recovery fund to support member states hit by the pandemic, including the decision to spend 90 per cent of the 28 billion euros for Germany on climate protection and digitalization.
Also in June 2021, Olaf Scholz had the Federal Central Tax Office purchase information about potential tax evaders from Dubai.
Olaf Scholz is criticized in the context of the bankruptcy of the payment service provider Wirecard, as there have been serious misconduct by the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority.
In January 2019, Olaf Scholz had primarily seen China as an economic partner.
Olaf Scholz tried to persuade Chinese Vice Premier Liu Olaf Scholz that China should be more open to German firms.
Olaf Scholz supported the Comprehensive Agreement on Investment between the EU and China.
In October 2019, Olaf Scholz condemned the Turkish invasion of the Kurdish-controlled northeastern areas of Syria, otherwise known as Rojava.
Olaf Scholz has been campaigning for a financial transaction tax for several years.
Since taking office as minister of finance, Olaf Scholz has been committed to a continued goal of no new debt and limited public spending.
In September 2019, Olaf Scholz negotiated the climate package in a key role for the SPD.
In exchange, Olaf Scholz offered 1 billion euros in subsidies to liquid gas terminals in northern Germany for US liquid gas imports.
Olaf Scholz called for the expansion of renewable energy to replace fossil fuels.
In May 2021, Olaf Scholz proposed the establishment of an international climate club, which should serve to develop common minimum standards for climate policy measures and a coordinated approach.
In regards to the relationship with the United States, Olaf Scholz agrees with a longstanding agreement that allows American tactical nuclear weapons to be stored and manned on American bases in Germany.
In June 2019, Olaf Scholz initially ruled out a candidacy for the party co-leadership following the resignation of Andrea Nahles.
Olaf Scholz explained that a simultaneous activity as Federal Minister of Finance and leader was "not possible in terms of time".
Olaf Scholz justified this with the fact that many of those he considered suitable did not run for office and a resulting responsibility.
On 10 August 2020, the SPD party executive agreed that it would nominate Olaf Scholz to be the party's candidate for Chancellor of Germany at the 2021 federal election.
Olaf Scholz belongs to the centrist wing of the SPD, and his nomination was seen by Die Tageszeitung as marking the decline of the party's left.
Olaf Scholz led the SPD to a narrow victory in the election, winning 25.8 per cent of the vote and 206 seats in the Bundestag.
Olaf Scholz was elected Chancellor by the Bundestag on 8 December 2021, with 395 votes in favour and 303 against.
Olaf Scholz came to Warsaw in December 2021 for talks with Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.
Olaf Scholz backed Poland's efforts to stop the flow of migrants seeking entry from Belarus.
Olaf Scholz extended into 2022 the suspension of the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia.
In September 2022, Olaf Scholz visited the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, seeking to deepen ties with the Arab states of the Persian Gulf and find alternative sources of energy.
Olaf Scholz's government approved new arms export deals to Saudi Arabia, despite a ban imposed as a result of the Saudi war in Yemen and the assassination of Jamal Khashoggi.
Olaf Scholz called the US "Europe's closest and most important partner".
On 22 February 2022, Olaf Scholz announced that Germany would be halting its approval of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline in response to Russia's recognition of two self-declared separatist republics within Ukraine.
Olaf Scholz spoke against allowing the EU to cut Russia off from the SWIFT global interbank payment system.
In June 2022, Olaf Scholz said that his government remains committed to phasing out nuclear power despite rising energy prices and Germany's dependence on energy imports from Russia.
On 13 January 2022, Olaf Scholz told lawmakers in the Bundestag, Germany should make COVID-19 vaccinations mandatory for all adults.
Olaf Scholz said Germany would not be able to get out of the pandemic without compulsory vaccinations.
In December 2021, Olaf Scholz rejected the Polish government's claim for further World War II reparations.
Olaf Scholz pointed out that Germany "continues to be willing to pay very, very high contributions to the EU budget", from which Poland has benefited considerably since its accession to the EU.
On 26 February, following the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, Olaf Scholz reversed his decision and pledged a supply of anti-tank weapons and Stinger missiles to Ukraine.
Olaf Scholz opposed a reversal of Germany's scheduled end to nuclear power, saying the technical challenges were too great.
Olaf Scholz ended it by accusing the German government of "dragging its feet" with regard to taking action against Russia.
Olaf Scholz rejected a plan made by Vice Chancellor and Economy Minister Robert Habeck and Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock to deliver 100 Marder Infantry fighting vehicles from German stocks to Ukraine.
Olaf Scholz is married to fellow SPD politician Britta Ernst.
Olaf Scholz was raised in the mainstream Protestant Evangelical Church in Germany, but he later left it.
At his inauguration as Chancellor in 2021, Olaf Scholz took the oath of office without a reference to God and is the first Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany to not belong to a Church.