It feels like trying to catch up on nine years in a single afternoon.

After the cabinet meeting on Wednesday, Chancellor Olaf Scholz will travel to the Spanish “City of Glass” with seven ministers.

This is what A Coruña is called in the extreme northwest of the country because of the glazed "galerías" on the facades of the houses on the port, which offer protection against storms.

Hans Christian Roessler

Political correspondent for the Iberian Peninsula and the Maghreb based in Madrid.

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Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez is waiting there with the three deputy heads of government and five cabinet members for the eight politicians from Germany.

For the last government consultations, both cabinets met in Berlin in 2013, at that time still headed by Mariano Rajoy and Angela Merkel.

There was a big gap between the 24th and 25th consultations.

Germany and Spain understand each other well.

Pedro Sánchez and Olaf Scholz call themselves friends.

In previous years, however, the Spanish socialist had got on no less well with the conservative Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Elections, government crises and the corona pandemic had ruined the attempts for a new cabinet meeting.

Even now, the Ukraine war and the energy crisis leave no more time in the glass congress center on the transatlantic quay than for a short meeting of the respective counterparts, a plenary session, the adoption of a joint action plan and dinner.

The second day had to be canceled at short notice.

The two heads of government have to attend the informal European Council in Prague this Thursday.

Small gestures and a little more time than usual

The political traveling circus means that the politicians see each other almost every week.

Scholz and Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock are in Spain for the third time this year.

Pedro Sánchez was only a guest at the cabinet meeting in Meseberg at the end of August.

In Madrid, this invitation was understood as an honor.

At the time, Scholz described Spain as a "very special friend".

Just a few weeks later, both politicians met during the UN General Assembly in New York.

In two weeks, the Spanish royal couple and the foreign minister will be leaving for Germany for a state visit to Berlin and Frankfurt, where Spain is the guest of honor at the book fair.

It's small gestures and a little more time than usual in hectic politics that should help to cultivate friendship.

Pedro Sánchez says that one of the reasons why they chose A Coruña is because Olaf Scholz once learned Spanish nearby – he says he still understands “some” Spanish.

The Spanish pre-election campaign probably also plays a role: in Galicia, the conservative opposition leader Alberto Núñez Feijóo was regional president until recently.

Together with the German guests, the socialist Sánchez shows his presence on his political territory with a "summit".

The consultations are called "cumbre" in Spain.