Olaf Scholz, 63, is the front-runner to take over as Germany’s next chancellor as Angela Merkel steps down. His Social Democrats (SPD) swept up a small majority in the recent election, leaving Mr Scholz with the task of attempting to form a coalition government that provides Germany with the stability it so desperately needs.
One of Mr Scholz’s key tasks in his attempts to form a government is to maintain European stability – the antithesis of Brexit.
Germany is dependent on a stable EU, just as the EU is dependent on the membership of Germany, its biggest economy.
In his attempts to show his commitment to the bloc, Mr Scholz has launched numerous attacks on Brexit over the course of his campaign.
Most recently, he spoke to Der Spiegel in a tell-all interview, in which he called Brexit “misleading”.
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He said: “Germany must dare to lay the technological and industrial foundations for the future.
“And the aim is to become a climate-neutral industrialised country in just under 25 years. This can create new confidence.”
This isn’t the first time Mr Scholz has used Brexit to prop up his arguments for a prosperous German future.
Speaking at a campaign rally before the September election, he said: “Why did Britain vote for Brexit if it was against its own interest? Why did America vote for Trump?
“I believe it is because people are experiencing deep social insecurities, and lack appreciation for what they do.”
He went on to say this insecurity is not just a German problem, stating this “dissatisfaction and insecurity [is] not just in the US or the UK but in the Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Austria or Germany – countries that may look from the outside like they don’t have any problems at all.”
He argued that lower-skilled work needs to be prioritised for and recognised for the huge impact it has on society.
He said: “Among certain professional classes, there is a meritocratic exuberance that has led people to believe their success is completely self-made.
“As a result, those who actually keep the show on the road don’t get the respect they deserve. That has to change.”