Visiting the Federal Chancellor: The Federal Government’s open day attracted crowds of visitors to the Chancellery and the ministries in Berlin at the weekend. Prime Minister Olaf Scholz (SPD) took part in a one-hour public talk in front of hundreds of people at his office on Sunday afternoon.

Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (Greens), Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP) and other cabinet members also got into discussions with interested parties and had selfies taken with them.

In high summer temperatures, the cabinet was casual – Scholz and Lindner appeared in a white shirt and without a tie and jacket, Baerbock in a white summer dress. Scholz did a short tour and took a look at a federal police helicopter with interest. He allowed himself a lot of time to have photos taken by visitors and himself.

Demo by climate activists

Climate activists demonstrated at the Federal Ministry of the Interior for a more open refugee policy. According to the Berlin police, six of them came to the ministry and distributed leaflets. However, everything remained peaceful, as it was said. No disturbances were initially known from the other events either.

Surveys had recently given indications that many people’s trust in politics and the state was dwindling. The annual open day of the federal government is intended to give citizens the opportunity to obtain comprehensive information about the work of the government. And many did – the Federal Press Office spoke of more than 104,000 visits on Sunday evening.

Sun loungers and jazz music

Many people came on Saturday when federal police parachutists hovered over the government district. Interested parties were already queuing at the Chancellery to take a look at Chancellor Scholz’s service limousine, for example – although the host only made his appearance on Sunday. Visitors could also take a short break in the garden of the Chancellery in a deck chair.

With Social Affairs Minister Hubertus Heil (SPD), there was first jazz music and then serious topics such as discrimination in the workplace, the reform of the Equal Treatment Act or immigration and securing skilled workers. “Yes, we have problems to solve,” said Heil. “We need more people who are committed to our country’s democracy, they’re not just politicians.”

The Federal Press Conference and media such as Deutschlandfunk, RBB and the German Press Agency also took part in the open day and informed visitors about their work. In the large hall of the BPK, as journalists just call it, visitors were able to take part in a government press conference on Sunday, as they are familiar with from excerpts from the evening news broadcasts. Here government spokesman Steffen Hebestreit and the spokespersons of the ministries allowed themselves to be pummeled – just like the journalists do three times a week.