“Olaf Scholz is not a good crisis manager”

“Olaf Scholz is not a good crisis manager”

Mr. Berger, you founded your management consultancy 55 years ago. Have you ever experienced such an accumulation of crises during this time?

I can remember the post-war period in Germany when everything was upside down. I was first a schoolboy, then a student. This time the crises range from war to inflation to climate change. So you can say we haven’t left anything out!

How can the German economy cope with this?

Germany is the third largest economy in the world. It has an ideal mix of industries that is the envy of many other nations, and our managers are among the best in the world. These are good prerequisites for our country’s global competitive position. However, there are structural weaknesses that are making things even more difficult for us in the crisis.

Which are they?

First of all, digitization: We still have a lot of catching up to do with the world leaders in terms of infrastructure and application. A second problem is the ever-increasing state influence on the economy, especially since the pandemic, with the associated bureaucratic obstacles and weaknesses in innovation and productivity. When it comes to the digitization of public administration, Germany is in the last third worldwide. Add to that the highest energy costs in the world, and higher labor costs and taxes than our competitors. Only by globalizing their value chains can our companies keep up with global competition.

There is a lot for the federal government to do. . .

. . . and they are not managing the crisis well. The work of the federal government deserves at best a grade of 4 plus. Olaf Scholz, our Chancellor, does not make clear decisions in good time, nor does he communicate in an understandable or even convincing manner. His policy competence is limited to bringing about compromises between his two coalition partners. He’s not a good crisis manager. No comparison to Helmut Schmidt.

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