Billionaire tax fraud won’t leave German Chancellor Scholz alone – Testimony today about his role in the scandal

Chancellor of Germany Olaf Scholz testified before Hamburg state parliamentarians on Friday about his role in the old CumEx tax fraud scandal. They talk about that, among other things HS and Bloomberg.

Scholz allegedly helped a bank accused of tax fraud. In the scandal, investors, bankers, brokers and funds tricked governments into paying them back taxes for unpaid taxes.

To parliamentarians, Scholz denied his involvement in the fraud. For the second time now, parliamentarians are hearing the chancellor on the case.

During the long-running CumEx scam, around €30 billion was taken from the German state through illegal tax planning.

One of the parties in the scam is a hamburger Warburg Bankwho managed to defraud the German state of up to 300 million euros between 2007 and 2011.

Scholz, who was mayor of Hamburg from 2011 to 2018, met with the owners of Warburg Bank in 2016, despite the fact that many of the directors were under investigation. The case became public in 2017.

The bank received 47 million euros in illegal tax refunds from the state and tried to get out of the situation without returning the money. After the meeting, the city’s tax authorities dropped the request for the money back, citing the statute of limitations.

“I have not influenced Warburg’s tax processing in any way. The allegations are false,” Scholz told state parliament on Friday.

He denied involvement before the same parliament back in April 2021. Earlier this month, Scholz told reporters there was no evidence of his involvement.

“I went to many discussions as mayor. I have always maintained a clear line: I do not judge facts and I do not promise anything,” he told parliament.

Scholz is not a criminal suspect in the case.

Popularity is falling

The appearance before parliament comes at a bad time for the chancellor as his popularity declines after six months in power. Rising inflation and the energy crisis put pressure on the government and increased discontent among voters.

“All the witnesses clearly showed that there was no political influence,” Scholz defended himself to parliamentarians.

“There is no financial damage for Hamburg.

The scandal has been alive for several years, but weeks ago it resurfaced. Prosecutors have found more than €200,000 in cash from a local Social Democratic Party politician, it has emerged Johannes Kars from the safe.

Kahrs is suspected of receiving the money as a reward for protecting the bank. He himself refused to comment on the origin of the money.

Both Kars and Scholz began their political careers in Hamburg.

Scholz concluded his opening remarks Friday by saying he “cautiously hopes that the prejudice and insinuations against him will finally end.”

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