BFederal Minister of Finance Christian Lindner (FDP) is the new kale king – this news made waves in political Berlin late Monday evening, or at least in that part of political Berlin that was aware of it. Around 300 selected guests had gathered at the Lower Saxony state representation in the capital to attend an event whose name promised regional tradition: “64. Hearty Ollnborger Gröönkohl-Äten”.
But the guests knew that there was much more at stake here. Every year since 1956, the city of Oldenburg has voted a politician with nationwide appeal as Kohlmajesste, in order to get itself talked about in the capital. This is linked to a kale banquet, which will be attended by characters as different as former cabbage majesties Frank-Walter Steinmeier (SPD), Hans-Dietrich Genscher (FDP), Angela Merkel (CDU), Karl-Theodor Freiherr zu Guttenberg (CSU) and Robert Habeck (Greens ) couldn’t resist. It almost goes without saying that Chancellor Helmut Kohl (CDU) was also among the cabbage kings.
A Päschn for kale
So now Lindner. The minister allowed the ceremony more than four hours in his busy schedule, which indicates that he is quite serious about the commitment to kale that he made at such a late hour. The Prime Minister of Lower Saxony, Stephan Weil (SPD), patron of the Grünkohlsause, gave the first hints in this regard in his opening speech.
He reported on a meal that took place after the opening of the LNG terminal in Wilhelmshaven last December. He was sitting there with top politicians – meaning Scholz, Habeck and Lindner – and one of them suddenly and “suddenly for everyone” exclaimed: “I love kale!” This passion, “or as they say in Berlin: “Päschn” , says Weil, is essential for every decent “Ambassador of the Oldenburg Palm”, as the kale is also called.
“FDP is just when Jever has more percent than you”
Lindner himself told the FAZ that the highlight of his career had been reached with the award as cabbage majesty. He opened his inaugural speech in a befitting manner: “Dear ladies, gentlemen, dear Kohl people, in one word: Hello.” “FDP is just when Jever has more percentages than you.”
The audience was impressed, as well as the now – a warning sign? – Lindner’s predecessor, who was dethroned as Majesty, the Berlin Governing Mayor Franziska Giffey (SPD). The vegan variant of the kale meal, which was served for the first time this year as an alternative to the classic one, met with mixed reactions.
One of Lindner’s tasks as Cabbage Majesty is to visit the traditional Oldenburg Kramermarkt in autumn. Lindner dutifully announced that he would do so.