Monday, January 8, 2024

Harsh criticism of the Chancellor: “Crazy” Russia comparison causes outrage – Gauck blames Scholz

Cologne City Gazette Harsh criticism of the Chancellor: “Crazy” Russia comparison causes outrage – Gauck blames Scholz Article by David Schmitz • 11 hours Chancellor Olaf Scholz at a press conference in Brussels. The tone in Europe is becoming harsher in the Taurus debate; former Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt has now attacked Scholz harshly. In the debate about a possible delivery of German Taurus cruise missiles, pressure on the federal government continues to increase. After calls for a delivery of cruise missiles had recently become loud again from both the ranks of the traffic light parties and the Union, former Federal President Joachim Gauck has now also expressed his incomprehension about Olaf Scholz's (SPD) hesitation. The Chancellor has so far blocked a corresponding delivery. Harsh criticism of Scholz also came from abroad on Sunday. Verhofstadt's “crazy” comparison: Germany an autocracy like Russia? “Gauck, Söder, CDU, Greens, FDP... everyone is pushing for Taurus for Ukraine,” wrote former Belgian Prime Minister and long-time European politician Guy Verhofstadt on the social network “How can Scholz continue to resist this clear majority in the Bundestag? “Has Germany become an autocracy like Russia?” Verhofstadt added, indirectly insinuating that Scholz is leading the country like Russian President Vladimir Putin. “As a Belgian politician, you should know how a government coalition works,” criticized Green Party politician Rasmus Andresen. “Comparing Germany with Russia is crazy and doesn’t help at all,” added the MEP. Vassili Golod, ARD correspondent in Kyiv, criticized Verhofstadt's words as "populist and completely wrong," even though there are "more good arguments" for supplying Taurus cruise missiles to Ukraine than against it. Sharp criticism of Verhofstadt’s comparison: “Crazy and doesn’t help at all” The provocative question was “nonsense,” said Thomas Jäger, professor of international politics at the University of Cologne, but also criticized the federal government. The Greens, FDP, CDU, CSU and parts of the SPD are in favor of the delivery, only the AfD and the Left are against it, explained Jäger. With Scholz's decision against the delivery of Taurus, “the federal government is conveying an image in the EU” in which “some people are asking questions about German democracy”. Before Verhofstadt's comparison, former Federal President Gauck had criticized the Chancellor for his hesitation in delivering the cruise missiles. Gauck told “Bild am Sonntag” that Scholz “must ask himself again and again whether he is not falling short of his stated claim to do everything so that Russia does not come to a peace with victory.” Joachim Gauck blames Olaf Scholz: hesitation “incomprehensible” After conversations with people who had the “necessary military knowledge,” Gauck explained, he could no longer understand “why we hesitate to deliver this weapon and other ammunition.” If German hesitation “not only reduces Ukraine’s chances, but also increases the threat to the free world,” the former Federal President warned that this would lead to “irritation.” Ukraine has been asking for the delivery of Taurus for a long time. So far, the Ukrainian armed forces only have British and French-made Storm Shadow/Scalp cruise missiles, as well as a small number of American ATACMS missiles. These weapon systems have a range of around 250 kilometers. Taurus cruise missiles would open up new opportunities for Ukraine With Taurus, Ukraine could also attack targets more than 500 kilometers away. For Kyiv, this would make it possible for the first time to carry out air strikes on Russian positions in all areas illegally occupied by Moscow in the Donbass and on the Crimean peninsula. The weapon system is considered modern; it should be able to hit its target precisely even from great heights and distances and can also destroy bunkers. Ukraine scores important blows against Russia with Storm Shadow At the beginning of October, Scholz decided not to deliver Taurus cruise missiles to Ukraine for the time being, as the weapon would facilitate attacks on weapons depots and supply lines on Russian territory. Ukraine has meanwhile assured Great Britain and France that it will not use the cruise missiles it has delivered so far on Russian territory. Ukraine has carried out several successful attacks with the British and French cruise missiles since they were first delivered in May 2023.