Morning Briefing Martin Schulz’s Selective Memory

Social Democratic chancellor candidate Martin Schulz is steering his party back to its left-wing roots: Ulrich Weiss, the ex-head of engine development at Audi, wants his job back.

More unemployment benefits and better job guarantees, higher taxes and more generous pensions: Social Democratic chancellor candidate Martin Schulz is steering his party back to its left-wing roots. And he’s confusing those with a good memory. Schulz was on the same SPD team that nearly a decade ago energetically supported the Agenda 2010, a series of labor-market and welfare reforms that trimmed benefits under Angela Merkel’s predecessor, SPD chancellor Gerhard Schröder. His new role model really looks like Bernie Sanders.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence took his good cop routine to Brussels yesterday, praising the trans-Atlantic partnership. That followed his pledge of allegiance to NATO in Munich over the weekend. He needed to calm nerves after his boss, Donald Trump, declared the military alliance “obsolete” and the European Union a dinosaur. His message was like a dual-action drug, stimulant and depressant all in one. But European politicians should be wary of side effects. The concoction whipped up in Washington’s political lab doesn’t enhance reality; it can cause hallucinations.

Ulrich Weiss, who unexpectedly joined the ranks of the unemployed, will take aim today in court at his former boss, Audi CEO Rupert Stadler. The ex-head of engine development wants his job back. His lawyers have documents alleging that Stadler knew about illegal software in Audi models three years before Dieselgate emerged. But the VW subsidiary has a defense plan; company lawyers may accuse Weiss of “revealing company secrets” and making “false accusations.” It will be interesting to see how true betrayal can lead to false suspicions. Friedrich Nietzsche understood how people ticked: “One only has courage about what one knows.”

Tour operator Aida will christen the first of a new generation of cruise ships today at the Meyer shipyard in Papenburg, in northern Germany. The 14 ocean liners being built offer just as much fun and sun as older vessels, but are powered by liquefied natural gas, and leave a smaller environmental wake. The new Aida means fun for everybody – including the fish in the sea.

Image of the Day

Masked revellers pose during the carnival in Venice, Italy.