Axis between social democrats Scholz and Sánchez?

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has visited his Spanish counterpart and fellow social democrat Pedro Sánchez for the first time. The Spanish press discusses whether the chemistry between the two heads of government can form the basis for a solid Berlin-Madrid axis.

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El Periódico de Catalunya (ES) /

Time for social policy in Europe

Spain could now gain more influence in the EU, El Periódico de Catalunya hopes:

“Both heads of state declared that they shared 'the vision of social and economic progress to return dignity and respect to our fellow citizens'. ... The time is ripe for social democratic governments to steer the EU towards inclusive policies with social content. And the context is good for Spain to exert the influence that corresponds to its clout. Which it could do provided it is able to present its European partners with solid credentials, guaranteeing economic growth and fulfilling its obligations.”

La Vanguardia (ES) /

Considerable differences

La Vanguardia points to the different interests of the two countries:

“Spain, like France and Italy, would welcome more flexibility on the issues of the deficit and debt. ... And there are also differences in terms of energy policy. Germany has no intention of giving up Russian gas for the time being, just as it doesn't want to hear any talk of nuclear energy, whereas in Spain the debate about nuclear has resumed. ... These differences, as mentioned above, are considerable. Even if in view of the uncertainty in other European countries the governments of Germany and Spain are now prioritising common interests and boasting about forming a new social democratic axis.”