Olaf Scholz gave an unusual speech on Wednesday.

At least at first he spoke freely, seemed alive and aggressive.

Apparently, the CDU chairman and opposition leader Friedrich Merz had provoked him so much with his previous statements that Scholz wanted to show him who the chancellor was.

And where the hammer hangs.

He had a few of them with him.

Johannes Leithauser

Political correspondent in Berlin.

  • Follow I follow

Eckhart Lohse

Head of the parliamentary editorial office in Berlin.

  • Follow I follow

Markus Wehner

Political correspondent in Berlin.

  • Follow I follow

As is almost always the case in the major Bundestag debates of the time, the main focus was on the war in Ukraine.

Merz was quick to criticize that Germany was supplying too few weapons to Ukraine.

"You've been talking more lately, but you're not saying anything," he accused the chancellor.

He didn't want to let that sit on him.

So Scholz first listed which anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons Germany had sent right after the start of the war.

He also spoke about the Gepard anti-aircraft tank, saying how much ammunition was being sent for how many defenses.

He talked about the Panzerhaubitze 2000, about various ring exchange projects with other countries, which primarily aim to provide the Ukraine with Russian-made main battle tanks.

Scholz described the criticism that Germany was doing too little as “stuff that was talked about”.

If his listings initially offered mainly familiar things, then something new came up.

Germany will deliver the most modern air defense system it has, it is the "Iris-T" from the manufacturer Diehl.

“We are putting Ukraine in a position to protect an entire city from Russian attacks.” He then announced that a tracking radar would be sent to Ukraine with the help of which artillery attacks could be spotted.

In addition, the United States will be supported "according to our technical possibilities" in the planned delivery of multiple rocket launchers to Ukraine.

"Take that!" should probably be the message to Merz, who was very aggressive for more than 20 minutes.

Shortly after the Chancellor's speech, further details about the deliveries became known.

Germany therefore wants to deliver four multiple rocket launchers from Bundeswehr stocks to Ukraine, as the German Press Agency learned from government circles.

This is being done in close coordination with the United States, which will also train Ukrainian soldiers on the systems.

Merz presents Scholz as a procrastinator

As the first speaker in the debate, Merz had mainly worked on the image that Scholz was a procrastinator who, after his speech on February 27, did not do much concrete for Ukraine.

As Union politicians like to do in recent times, Merz tried statements from a Green Party to attack Scholz.

In view of the insufficient support for Ukraine, "only contempt" remains for Germany, he quoted MEP Viola von Cramon as saying.

Merz then asked question after question in the direction of the Chancellor.

The President of the Ukrainian Parliament is coming to Berlin, the opposition leader wanted to know why he had not yet been given an appointment with Scholz.

Why Scholz doesn't say clearly that Ukraine must win the war against Russia.

Why not launch a joint European initiative to support Ukraine.

Whether he thinks that Ukraine, Moldova and the Western Balkans should become EU accession candidates.

So it was question by question.

The CDU chairman ignored an interjection about what he, Merz, was saying about the candidate status.

In his speech in the Bundestag three days after the beginning of the war, Scholz spoke "plain language".

Since then, “everything has evaporated into obscurity”.