|Vice Chancellor of Germany|
14 March 2018
|Preceded by||Sigmar Gabriel|
|Minister of Finance|
14 March 2018
|Preceded by||Wolfgang Schäuble|
|Deputy Leader of the Social Democratic Party|
13 November 2009 –6 December 2019
|Leader|| Sigmar Gabriel |
|Preceded by||Frank-Walter Steinmeier|
|Succeeded by||Hubertus Heil|
| Leader of the Social Democratic Party |
13 February 2018 –22 April 2018
|General Secretary||Lars Klingbeil|
|Preceded by||Martin Schulz|
|Succeeded by||Andrea Nahles|
|First Mayor of Hamburg|
7 March 2011 –13 March 2018
|Preceded by||Christoph Ahlhaus|
|Succeeded by||Peter Tschentscher|
|Leader of the Social Democratic Party in Hamburg|
6 November 2009 –24 March 2018
|Preceded by||Ingo Egloff|
|Succeeded by||Melanie Leonhard|
|Preceded by||Jörg Kuhbier|
|Succeeded by||Mathias Peterson|
|Minister of Labour and Social Affairs|
21 November 2007 –27 October 2009
|Preceded by||Franz Müntefering|
|Succeeded by||Franz Josef Jung|
|Chief Whip of the Social Democratic Party in the Bundestag|
13 October 2005 –21 November 2007
|Preceded by||Wilhelm Schmidt|
|Succeeded by||Thomas Oppermann|
|Secretary General of the Social Democratic Party|
20 October 2002 –21 March 2004
|Preceded by||Franz Müntefering|
|Succeeded by||Klaus Uwe Benneter|
|Senator for the Interior of Hamburg|
30 May 2001 –31 October 2001
|First Mayor||Ortwin Runde|
|Preceded by||Hartmuth Wrocklage|
|Succeeded by||Ronald Schill|
|Member of the Bundestag|
22 September 2002 –10 March 2011
27 September 1998 –30 May 2001
|Born||14 June 1958|
Osnabrück, West Germany
|Political party||Social Democratic Party|
|Alma mater||University of Hamburg|
Olaf Scholz (German pronunciation: [ˈoːlaf ˈʃɔlts] ; born 14 June 1958) is a German politician serving as Federal Minister of Finance and Vice Chancellor under Chancellor Angela Merkel since 14 March 2018. He served as First Mayor of Hamburg from 7 March 2011 to 13 March 2018 and Acting Leader of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) from 13 February to 22 April 2018.
A member of the Bundestag from 1998 to 2001 and again from 2002 to 2011, Scholz was Minister of the Interior of Hamburg under First Mayor Ortwin Runde from May to October 2001 and general secretary of his party under chairman and chancellor Gerhard Schröder from 2002 to 2004. He served as Federal Minister of Labour and Social Affairs in Merkel's first Grand Coalition from 2007 to 2009 and leader of the SPD in Hamburg from 2000 to 2004 and again from 2009 to 2018.
Together with former Brandenburg state representative Klara Geywitz, he received most votes in the first round of the 2019 election for the newly introduced dual leadership of his party,but lost with 45% in the ensuing run-off to the winners Norbert Walter-Borjans and Saskia Esken.
Born in the northwestern city of Osnabrück, Scholz grew up in Hamburg's Rahlstedt district and studied at the University of Hamburg to become a lawyer specializing in labour law.
A former vice president of the International Union of Socialist Youth, Scholz represented Hamburg Altona in the Bundestag between 1998 and 2001 as well as between 2002 and 2011. From May to October 2001, he was Minister of the Interior (Innensenator) of Hamburg under First Mayor Ortwin Runde and from 2002 to 2004 he was Secretary-General of the SPD; he resigned from that office when Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, facing disaffection within his own party and hampered by persistently low public approval ratings, announced that he would step down as chairman of the Social Democratic Party.
Scholz served as the SPD parliamentary group's spokesperson on the inquiry committee investigating the German Visa Affair in 2005. Following the federal elections later that year, he served as First Parliamentary Secretary of the SPD parliamentary group. In this capacity, he worked closely with the CDU parliamentary floor manager Norbert Röttgen to manage and defend the grand coalition led by Chancellor Angela Merkel in parliament.He also served as member of the Parliamentary Oversight Panel (PKGr), which provides parliamentary oversight of Germany's intelligence services BND, MAD and BfV. In addition, he was a member of the parliamentary body in charge of appointing judges to the Highest Courts of Justice, namely the Federal Court of Justice (BGH), the Federal Administrative Court (BVerwG), the Federal Fiscal Court (BFH), the Federal Labour Court (BAG), and the Federal Social Court (BSG).
Scholz succeeded Franz Müntefering as Federal Minister of Labour and Social Affairs in the first cabinet of Chancellor Angela Merkel, when Müntefering left office in November 2007.
Following the 2009 elections, Scholz served as deputy chairman of the SPD parliamentary group. Between 2009 and 2011, he served on the group's Afghanistan/Pakistan Task Force.In 2010 he also participated in the annual Bilderberg Meeting in Sitges, Spain.
On 20 February 2011 the Social Democrats led by Scholz won the 2011 Hamburg state election with 48.3% of the votes, resulting in 62 out of 121 seats in the Hamburg Parliament.Scholz resigned as a member of the seventeenth Bundestag on 11 March 2011 shortly after his election as First Mayor; Dorothee Stapelfeldt, also a Social Democrat, was made Deputy First Mayor.
In his capacity as mayor, Scholz represented Hamburg and Germany internationally. On 7 June 2011, Scholz attended the state dinner hosted by President Barack Obama in honor of Chancellor Angela Merkel at the White House.As host of Hamburg's annual St. Matthias' Day banquet for the city's civic and business leaders, he has invited several high-ranking guests of honour to the city, including Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault of France (2013), Prime Minister David Cameron of the United Kingdom (2016), and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada (2017). From 2015 until 2018, he also served as Commissioner of the Federal Republic of Germany for Cultural Affairs under the Treaty on Franco-German Cooperation.
In 2013, Scholz opposed a public initiative aiming at a complete buyback of energy grids Hamburg had sold to utilities Vattenfall Europe AG and E.ON decades before; he argued this would overburden the city, whose debt pile stood at more than 20 billion euros at the time.
Scholz participated in the exploratory talks between the CDU, CSU and SPD parties to form a coalition government following the 2013 federal elections.In the subsequent negotiations, he led the SPD delegation in the financial policy working group; his co-chair from the CDU/CSU was Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble. Alongside fellow Social Democrats Jörg Asmussen and Thomas Oppermann, Scholz was considered a possible successor to Schäuble in the post of finance minister at the time.
In a paper compiled in late 2014, Scholz and Schäuble proposed redirecting revenue from the so-called solidarity surcharge on income and corporate tax (Solidaritätszuschlag) to subsidize the federal states’ interest payments.
Under Scholz’ leadership, the Social Democrats handily won the 2015 state elections in Hamburg, receiving around 47 percent of the vote.His coalition government with the Green Party – with Green leader Katharina Fegebank serving as Deputy First Mayor – was sworn in on 15 April 2015.
In 2015, Scholz led Hamburg's bid to host the 2024 Summer Olympics at an estimated budget of 11.2 billion euros ($12.6 billion), competing against Los Angeles, Paris, Rome and Budapest;the citizens of Hamburg, however, later rejected the candidacy in a referendum, with more than half voting against the project.
In 2015, Scholz – alongside Minister-President Torsten Albig of Schleswig-Holstein – negotiated a restructuring deal with the European Commission that allowed the German regional lender HSH Nordbank to offload 6.2 billion euros in troubled assets – mainly non-performing ship loans – onto its government majority owners and avoid being shut down, saving around 2,500 jobs.
On 14 March 2018, Olaf Scholz became Federal Minister of Finance.
Within the first months in office, Scholz became one of Germany's most popular politicians with an approval rating of close to 50 percent.
Within his party, Scholz is widely regarded as part of the conservative wing.
After the 2017 national elections, Scholz was publicly critical of party leader Martin Schulz’s strategy and messaging, releasing a paper titled “No excuses! Answer new questions for the future! Clear principles!” With his proposals for reforming the party, he was widely interpreted to position himself as a potential challenger (or successor) to Schulz within the SPD. In the weeks after his party first started weighing a return to government, Scholz urged compromise and was one of the SPD members more inclined toward another grand coalition.
Since taking office as minister of finance, Scholz has been committed to a continued goal of no new debt and limited public spending.In 2018, he suggested the creation of a Europe-wide unemployment insurance system to make the eurozone more resilient to future economic shocks. He also wants to introduce a financial transaction tax.
When Die Tageszeitung interviewed Scholz, then serving as secretary general of the ruling SPD, during a 2003 party conference, he later demanded massive changes and threatened to pull the entire piece. When the editors said they would go ahead and publish it without authorization, Scholz warned that the paper would be excluded from all future SPD background talks.The newspaper published the interview with all of Scholz's answers blacked, and the paper's editor-in-chief Bascha Mika condemned his behavior as a "betrayal of the claim to a free press, a betrayal of the journalist's self-definition, a betrayal of the reader."
Scholz was criticized for his handling of the riots that took place during 2017 G20 summit in Hamburg; Mayor Scholz apologized to residents, but refused to resign.
Olaf Scholz is married to Britta Ernst (born 1961); they have no children. She is also a politician (SPD).
The couple lived in Hamburg's Altona district before moving to Potsdam in 2018.
Franz Müntefering is a German politician and industrial manager. He was Chairman of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) from 2004 to 2005 and again from 18 October 2008 to 13 November 2009. He served as Federal Minister of Labour and Social Affairs, as well as Vice-Chancellor, from 2005 to 2007.
Wolfgang Tiefensee is a German politician of the Social Democratic Party (SPD). He was the Federal Minister for Transport, Building and Urban Development in the grand coalition cabinet led by Angela Merkel between 2005 and 2009. Since 2014, he has been the State Minister of Economy, Science and the Digital Society in the government of Thuringia's Minister-President Bodo Ramelow.
Andrea Maria Nahles is a German politician who served as Leader of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) from April 2018 until June 2019 and the leader of the SPD in the Bundestag from September 2017 until June 2019. She served as a Federal Minister of Labour and Social Affairs from 2013 to 2017 and SPD Youth leader. She is known within the party for criticising Gerhard Schröder's Agenda 2010. In June 2019, in the aftermath of the SPD's result in the 2019 European elections, she announced her resignation as leader of the SPD and as parliamentary leader of the SPD. For the transition period until a new SPD-leader is voted in, Manuela Schwesig, Malu Dreyer and Thorsten Schäfer-Gümbel act as her successors. Nahles left the Bundestag on 31 October 2019.
Hubertus Heil is a German politician of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) who has been serving as Federal Minister of Labour and Social Affairs in the fourth cabinet of Chancellor Angela Merkel since 14 March 2018.
Norbert Barthle is a German politician of the Christian Democratic (CDU) who has been a member of the Bundestag since 1998, representing Backnang – Schwäbisch Gmünd.
Peter Altmaier is a German lawyer and politician who has been serving as Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy since March 2018. Previously he was Federal Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety from May 2012 to December 2013 and Head of the German Chancellery and as Federal Minister for Special Affairs from December 2013 to March 2018. Altmaier is widely seen as one of Chancellor Angela Merkel's most trusted advisors and advocates for her more centrist wing of the CDU. He is respected for his "compromising style" and has been described as "The most powerful man in Berlin".
Manuela Schwesig is a German politician of the Social Democratic Party serving as the fifth minister-president of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern since 4 July 2017. She is the first woman to serve as head of government of this state. Previously she served as Federal Minister of Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth from 2013 to 2017.
Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, sometimes referred to by her initials of AKK, is a German politician serving as Minister of Defence since July 2019 and Chairwoman of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) since the 2018 leadership election, succeeding Angela Merkel.
Torsten Albig is a German politician from the Social Democratic Party of Germany. From 2012 until 2017 he served as the 13th Minister President of Schleswig-Holstein.
Jens Spahn is a German politician currently serving as Federal Minister of Health in the fourth Merkel cabinet. He is a member of the lower house of the federal parliament, the Bundestag for Steinfurt I – Borken I and is a member of the centre-right Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU), which governs in partnership with the centre-left Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD).
Aydan Özoğuz is a German politician of the Social Democratic Party (SPD). She has been a member of the Bundestag since 2009 and served as deputy chairperson of the party from 2011 until 2017. She also served as Commissioner for Immigration, Refugees and Integration at the rank of Minister of State in the third government of Chancellor Angela Merkel from 2013 until 2018.
Katarina Barley is a German politician and lawyer who has been a Member of the European Parliament since 2019. She served as Federal Minister of Justice and Consumer Protection and as Federal Minister of Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth in the fourth Cabinet of Angela Merkel. Prior to that, she had served as acting Federal Minister of Labour and Social Affairs from 28 September 2017, both until 14 March 2018.
Peter Tschentscher is a German politician of the Social Democratic Party (SPD). Since 28 March 2018 he has been the First Mayor of Hamburg and head of the new state government. Since 2008 he has been a member of the Hamburger Bürgerschaft, the state parliament of Hamburg. From 2011 until 2018 he served as State Minister of Finance of the city in the Senate's Scholz I and II.
Michelle-Jasmin Müntefering is a German journalist and politician (SPD). She was a member of the party executive board in North Rhine-Westphalia from 2004 to 2014. She was elected to the German Bundestag and won her direct mandate for Herne – Bochum II in the 2013 and the 2017 federal election. In addition, since 14 March 2018 she has been serving as Minister of State at the Federal Foreign Office under minister Heiko Maas in the fourth government of Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Bettina Hagedorn is a German politician of the Social Democratic Party (SPD). Since September 2002 she has been a member of the German Bundestag for Ostholstein - Stormarn-Nord, since 2018 Parliamentary State Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Finance under minister Olaf Scholz in the fourth coalition government of Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Christine Lambrecht is a German lawyer and politician of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) who has been serving as Minister of Justice and Consumer Protection in the government of Chancellor Angela Merkel since 2019. She previously served as one of two Parliamentary State Secretaries at the Federal Ministry of Finance from 2018 until 2019. Prior to that, she held various roles within the SPD parliamentary group, including as a deputy leader and Chief Whip.
Maria Franziska Flachsbarth is a German veterinarian and politician of the Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU) who has been serving as Parliamentary State Secretary in the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development in the fourth coalition government of Chancellor Angela Merkel since 2018. Since 2011 she has also served as the president of the German Catholic Women's Association.
Norbert Walter-Borjans is a German economist and politician of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) who has been serving as co-leader of the SPD since 2019. He served as minister of finance of the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia from 2010 until 2017.
Sarah Ryglewski is a German politician of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) who has been serving as a member of the Bundestag from the state of Bremen since 2015. In 2019, she was appointed Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Finance in the government of Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Hans-Joachim Fuchtel is a German lawyer and politician of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) who has been serving as a member of the Bundestag from the state of Baden-Württemberg since 1987. Since 2018, he has also been serving as Parliamentary State Secretary for Food and Agriculture in the government of Chancellor Angela Merkel.
|Party political offices|
| Secretary General of the Social Democratic Party |
Klaus Uwe Benneter
| Leader of the Social Democratic Party |
| Minister of Labour and Social Affairs |
Franz Josef Jung
| First Mayor of Hamburg |
| Vice Chancellor of Germany |
| Minister of Finance |