On Tuesday and Wednesday, the cabinet of Chancellor Olaf Scholz will meet for a closed conference at Meseberg Castle in Brandenburg. Will the fairy tale of the traffic light coalition in Meseberg Castle be rewritten?

It all started with a friendly mobile phone photo of the Greens and Liberals. They stood together respectfully and lovingly. They smile mischievously at the camera. The traffic light coalition acted as a conspiratorial and adventurous troupe – just like the Bremen Town Musicians once did. After 16 long years with Merkel, we will find something better than death everywhere. But when the government’s closed conference begins today in Schloss Meseberg, the script will have to be changed. Or even worse: There is no longer a single script that fits everyone. Each of the actors lives in their own fairy tale film.

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Annalena Baerbock started the election campaign with all sorts of fibs as Cinderella and is now – as the ball is picking up speed – on the floor as the coveted dancer of a new era. She floats lightly through the crisis regions of the world. Her ball gown looks like a bulletproof vest. She no longer looks pathetic, but graceful.

Robert Habeck has to be careful that the role of Hans im Glück does not remain for him. He started with the golden nugget as the darling of the public and exchanged his credibility as a climate campaigner with the Qatari prince for a loose promise to deliver large quantities of gas that never came. Now his gas levy, with which he wants to collect 34 billion euros from 21 million gas customers, hangs around his neck like a millstone. He is pulling down, also because his dear party friends never miss an opportunity to continue to complain about him through public statements.

The fairy tale of Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf seems to have been conceived for Christian Lindner. The director cast him as a cunning wolf who finally gets hold of the unsuspecting Little Red Riding Hood: “Oh, grandmother, what big ears you have!” – “That I can hear you better!” – “Oh, grandmother, what you have big eyes!” – “That I can see you better!” – “Oh, grandmother, what big hands you have!” – “That I can grab you better!”

He has the social climate – redistribution above all – and a matching guideline of the Chancellor – you will never walk alone – against him. He has no choice but to camouflage himself with his grandmother’s bonnet. He must appear more harmless than he is, knowing that the wolfish meritocracy hardly has any friends in the population. Everyone wants to be Little Red Riding Hood.

Karl Lauterbach, who is also expected in Schloss Meseberg, still has difficulties finding a role. He thinks he’s the frog prince. But nobody wants to kiss him. Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht fared no better. Since she used the Bundeswehr helicopter like a private taxi, she has had to make do with the basement dungeon in Meseberg.

There she lives with Hui Buh, the castle ghost. Anton Hofreiter was not even invited to the exam because there was no ministerial post left for him. Now he lives in the forest, far from power, but within sight of the castle. He always gets up in the evening. His campfires look like the talk shows by Anne Will and Sandra Maischberger, where he blackmails the ungrateful party friends as best he can: “Oh, how good that nobody knows that my name is Rumpelstiltskin! “

Only the lord of the castle is still missing. A certain Olaf Scholz is intended for this role in the ancestral gallery – which hangs in the large dining room. His story bears the ambitious title “Zeitenwende”.

The problem: The appropriate fairy tale has yet to be written. The Brothers Grimm have passed away. There is a note on the bulletin board at Schloss Meseberg: Ghostwriters wanted.

Gabor Steingart is one of the best-known journalists in the country. He publishes the newsletter The Pioneer Briefing. The podcast of the same name is Germany’s leading daily podcast for politics and business. Since May 2020, Steingart has been working with his editorial staff on the ship “The Pioneer One”. Before founding Media Pioneer, Steingart was, among other things, Chairman of the Management Board of the Handelsblatt Media Group. You can subscribe to his free newsletter here.