Olaf Scholz looks really angry. Normally, the Federal Minister of Finance holds back, speaks quietly, seems always a little above the things to float. Quite different on this Tuesday evening at the Willy-Brandt-Haus: Scholz is standing at a desk in front of a white-red-pink wall, the typical event setting for the election of Andrea Nahles's successor. But something is new: He is in combat and defense mode. "It makes no sense to mince success," shouts Scholz his contractor loudly.
This is especially true of competitor Saskia Esken. The two face each other a few yards away, flinging arguments back and forth with pinched eyes. Scholz in a gray suit, Esken in a combative red blazer. Esken, until recently a barely known member of the Bundestag from Baden-Württemberg, equipped with a lot of self-confidence, Scholz has already interrupted several times this evening and blamed for undesirable developments in the SPD. The mutual aversion can not be overlooked.
In search of a new duo for the party presidency, the SPD has now started in the second round. 23 tough regional conferences, in which eight pairs of candidates and one individual candidate woo the favor of the 420,000 members, are made. Now the duos Norbert Walter Borjans and Saskia Esken and Olaf Scholz and Klara Geywitz compete in a runoff election against each other. There are two public discussion events with the fours, the first took place on Tuesday evening in Berlin, with a moderator, but without an audience. Interested people should connect via livestream, which led to the fact that the servers of the SPD crashed together. "Sometimes that's how miracles take a bit longer," commented the moderator laconically - and thus also meets a rather fundamental problem of the SPD.
For almost half a year, the party is already without leadership. On November 30, this power vacuum is over, then the SPD wants to announce the outcome of the runoff election. For the future of the Federal Government will probably be decisive, whether the winners Scholz and Geywitz hot, or if but the hope of the party's neighbors win: Walter-Borjans and Esken. So it's about something, that also makes this live streaming evening controversial. The two couples have argued the most passionately about these topics:
At the beginning of the week, Walter Borjans, the former Minister of Finance of North Rhine-Westphalia, had praised the compromise reached by the grand coalition for basic pensions. On Tuesday evening, however, he criticized the fact that the SPD has enforced this only for 1.5 million people and not - because of the now preceding income test - for the three million, the SPD labor minister Hubertus Heil had originally considered.
Vice-Chancellor Scholz, who is very proud of the basic pension together with the SPD ministers, is annoyed: "It would be good to have fun," he says in the direction of Walter Borjans. Scholz's colleague Geywitz emphasizes that the SPD, despite its difficult situation in the polls and despite the leadership vacuum, has largely prevailed against the Union. Walter-Borjans suddenly does not mean it that way: no question, the rent is a milestone, he emphasizes.
The round is unanimous that above all the low wages would have to be fought, which lead to old-age poverty. But who is to blame? For the left-wing candidate Esken, this is the government SPD - above all Scholz - and their policy of small steps. 35 years ago she worked as a parcel courier. The fact that the Union and SPD have recently improved the social security of parcel carriers, they can not be happy because it is "only a little better" and the SPD, the fundamental problem of precarious employment relationships only cosmetically.