Chancellor Olaf Scholz ends the nuclear dispute that paralyzed traffic lights for weeks. For Economics Minister Habeck, this may even turn out to be a success, but the FDP, on the other hand, has to swallow the exit in 2023. And the chancellor makes a bet with the whole thing.

What at first glance looks like a painful defeat for Robert Habeck and his Greens turns out to be a success on closer inspection. The chancellor’s power on the tiresome nuclear issue is a blessing for the vice chancellor – not even in his own party can he now be accused of giving in to his rivals from the FDP.

More on this here: Scholz word of power! Chancellor ends nuclear power plant dispute, all three continue

With his policy decision, the Chancellor has freed his larger coalition partner from an ugly suspicion that climate activists harbor against the Greens. That when in doubt, they don’t follow their green conscience and their anti-nuclear DNA, but: the vile power. This is another reason why Habeck can live well with this Scholz decision. Although he has to cross the “red line” that his Greens drew for him at the weekend, he was forced to do so by a stronger force: the chancellor. If need be, a green all-terrain victim myth can also be made from this.

In a compromise, only one person never pays the price. The Scholz decision is also at the expense of the FDP. Because they now have to get out of nuclear power earlier than they last wanted – by April 2023 at the latest. That’s a high price, by the way.

A party that defines itself as “technology-open”, and even more so: has made this its progressive brand core, must now abandon a technology that other countries consider to be the hope for the future, such as Silicon Valley, which is deliberately investing billions in the investing in the next generation of nuclear power.

Now to the Federal Chancellor: in football, what Scholz is currently demonstrating on the soccer field of the traffic light coalition is called a “penalty without a goalkeeper”. The compromise – all three nuclear power plants will run until next year, but that’s the end of it – was an obvious choice. Scholz just had to take advantage of the favorable opportunity and casually push the round thing into the square goal.

A gift for a chancellor who constantly has to ask uncomfortable questions about his manager.

Whether it is the same for Germany, however, remains to be seen. The country is now making a bet with Scholz at the head of government: in the end, the energy transition will work. And without domestic coal, without Russian gas and without climate-damaging nuclear energy. Germany has remained alone with this path, it remains a special energy policy path. Other countries in Europe have broadened their stance, overriding their own ideologically based decisions against nuclear power.

One can only hope that everything goes well. We will only know in a few years whether this is the case. Probably only when Olaf Scholz has long since retired.