The CDU chairman Armin Laschet attacked the SPD and, above all, its chancellor candidate Olaf Scholz with unusually sharp words.

The trigger was that the Social Democrats are preventing a further term in office for the chairman of the "Wirtschaftsweise", Lars Feld.

Laschet wrote on Twitter that Feld was one of the "most renowned scientists of the social market economy".

Finance Minister Scholz prevented with "arrogance" and "ignorance" in the middle of the pandemic that Feld could continue to work in the Expert Council.

"Especially now in the crisis, expertise would be more important than ever."

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Scholz did not respond to the abuse.

The day after it became clear that Feld's term of office would end on February 28 after ten years, he simply pointed out in a soberly provocative manner that the Federal Government and the Council of Economic Experts had in the past assumed the principle that a change of office should take place after about ten years .

The federal government has not yet reached an agreement on the question of the successor.



The result is clear: if the coalition does not come to an understanding after all - and there are no indications of this - one of the five places in the most important advisory body on economic issues will remain free at least until after the general election.

Scholz doesn't give the impression that he's angry about it.

He can score two points for himself: Firstly, he and the SPD are rid of the man who has not tired of pointing out regulatory principles in the economy in the past few months, which for him includes that a state must not be indebted indefinitely therefore the debt brake must be maintained.

Secondly, for the currently unlikely but possible case of his own chancellorship, Scholz created the option of fundamentally reorganizing the body, the "Advisory Council for the Assessment of Macroeconomic Development", which was created in 1963, after more than six months no longer worked at full speed anyway.


When asked about this, Scholz said that the reform of the Council was an “exciting debate”.

He also named the model that he would use as a guide: the Council of Economic Advisers in the United States.

US President Joe Biden has just named the three economists who will advise him on economic issues during his tenure.

It is expressly their task not only to write expert reports, but also to prepare and initiate specific economic policy decisions during the term of office of the respective government.

Bert Rürup, himself a member and chairman of the Expert Council for many years, has only recently spoken out in favor of such a transformation of the Council.

“The clearly defined timeframe often prevents changes in composition, as in the Advisory Council, and prevents the committee from becoming the constant plaything of politics,” he wrote in an opinion piece for the business newspaper “Handelsblatt”.


The disadvantage would of course be that the current government, more than ever, occupies the highest advisory body with economists who come closest to their political goals.

She hardly has to fear any inconvenient requests to speak from the committee.

The CDU Economic Council also judges harshly

This is exactly what representatives of the CDU are now accusing the SPD of.

You only wanted Feld out because he is an advocate of the idea of ​​economic competition and prefers freedom of the citizens in the market to intervention by the state.

In budget and tax policy, for example, he does not fit the plans of the SPD - just as little as it does with the Greens and the Left Party.

Correspondingly harsh statements come not only from CDU chairman Laschet, but also from the CDU's Economic Council, an association of entrepreneurs who are close to the party.

General Secretary Wolfgang Steiger said that the Council of Economic Experts was an important guardian of the social market economy.

Obviously, Finance Minister Scholz wanted to “push through a smooth cast”.

Steiger described it as a “poor certificate” if politics only wanted to be confirmed by scientists.

The economic forum of the SPD, an association of entrepreneurs close to the Social Democrats, did not want to comment on the sensitive personnel when asked.

For the CDU, the latest feud within the grand coalition is about more than just a personality.

The dissatisfaction of many medium-sized companies with the party, which has been viewed by many as a natural ally for decades, is not only due to the slow disbursements of the corona aid.

The Union's personality field suits the Union perfectly

Many of them accuse the governments of Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) for a long time with a lack of reform zeal in terms of the business location - regardless of whether it is about progress in digitization, the long-promised reduction in bureaucracy or an affordable old-age pension concept.

The Union's field of personality comes in handy here.

Because now she can pass the buck to the SPD - and thus distract from her own mistakes.

Because economics minister Peter Altmaier (CDU) has simply failed in the past few months to advertise first in his own ranks and then with the coalition partner SPD for a compromise candidate for the field successor.

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