Chancellor-designate Olaf Scholz: The position on the subject of mandatory vaccinations has changed
Photo: Frank Rumpenhorst / dpa
Germany in August 2021, the federal election campaign is picking up speed.
Olaf Scholz, who with the SPD is still behind the Union on the Sunday issue, says the sentence: "We now have no compulsory vaccination and do not want to introduce it."
It is the same Olaf Scholz who, as Chancellor-designate at the end of November, said a completely different sentence during deliberations with the Prime Minister, according to the participants: "In my opinion, it is important that we establish a general compulsory vaccination."
That is a huge change of position in just three months.
Scholz did not do it alone.
The chancellor-designate represents a number of politicians who once vehemently opposed compulsory vaccination and are now among those who, in some cases, grudgingly support it.
This change of opinion in and of itself does not constitute grounds for reproach.
It would be bad if politicians did not learn anything from new situations and did not adjust their positions.
But Scholz and the others now have the problem that their statements back then in the summer often sounded as if there was nothing more to learn, as if you knew the virus well enough to be able to rule out certain measures with certainty. When asked about compulsory vaccination, there was hardly ever a “currently”, “if no new variant occurs”, “if the situation remains that way” or “if the intensive care units are not overloaded”.
The example of Winfried Kretschmann shows that it would have been possible.
At the beginning of July he had spoken out against compulsory vaccination while attending a grammar school in Mannheim.
At the end of July, Baden-Württemberg's green head of government said three sentences to the dpa news agency that have since turned out to be farsighted.
“We're not planning to have any vaccinations.
I cannot rule out compulsory vaccination for all times.
It is possible that there will be variants that make this necessary. "
What Kretschmann hadn't expected either: That no new variant like Omikron was needed to bring Germany's health system close to collapse in some places.
The Delta variant was sufficient for this.
Now, according to the future Chancellor's will, there should be compulsory vaccination in Germany, possibly as early as February.
And not only Olaf Scholz should hope that there will be no further massive course corrections in the corona crisis, both politically and rhetorically.