Germany’s Scholz faces grilling over tax fraud scandal

Germany’s Scholz faces grilling over tax fraud scandal
Germany’s Scholz faces grilling over tax fraud scandal

Hello and welcome to the details of Germany’s Scholz faces grilling over tax fraud scandal and now with the details

Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - German Chancellor Olaf Scholz will answer to a committee on Friday as part of investigations into a financial scandal that cost the government billions. — Reuters pic

HAMBURG, Aug 19 — German Chancellor Olaf Scholz will answer to a committee on Friday as part of investigations into a financial scandal that cost the government billions, as the leader struggles to shed suspicions over his possible role in the huge tax fraud scam.

Scholz will testify for the second time to the parliamentary committee in Hamburg, which is probing whether local political figures helped a bank to avoid paying back falsely claimed tax rebates.

Scholz was the mayor of Hamburg from 2011 to 2018, when he became finance minister in the cabinet of the then Chancellor, Angela Merkel.

First exposed in 2017, the “cum-ex” scam involved numerous participants swiftly exchanging company shares amongst themselves around dividend day to claim multiple tax rebates on a single payout.

Dozens of people have been indicted over the scandal in Germany, including bankers, stock traders, lawyers and financial consultants.

The Hamburg committee is investigating why local finance authorities in 2016 dropped a bid to claw back €47 million (RM212 million) in taxes from private bank M. M. Warburg over cum-ex trades.

The bank eventually had to pay back tens of millions of euros under pressure from Merkel’s federal government.

According to German media reports, investigators have examined emails from the account used by Scholz during his time as the mayor of Hamburg in connection with the scandal.

‘No findings of political influence’

The grilling in Hamburg comes with Scholz already facing dismal popularity ratings after his first six months in office were tarnished by criticism over his perceived weak response to the war in Ukraine.

More recently, the chancellor has also struggled to reassure Germans over possible energy shortages this winter and the very real prospect of a recession in Europe’s biggest economy.

Scholz also this week faced a backlash over his failure to immediately condemn comments on the Holocaust made in Berlin by Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas.

Scholz’s spokesman Steffen Hebestreit on Wednesday assured journalists that the chancellor would answer all of the committee’s questions and had nothing to hide.

Asked about the scandal himself during a summer press conference last week, Scholz said he had “commented on these things very extensively and for many hours and will do so again”.

“A huge number of hearings, a huge number of files have brought only one result: there are no findings that there was political influence,” he said.

But rumours are swirling that the decision to let Warburg off the hook was taken shortly after a conversation between Scholz and Christian Olearius, then head of the bank.

Scholz has denied exerting pressure on Hamburg’s tax authority over Warburg’s cum-ex activity, but new allegations in recent days allege he may yet be hiding something.

According to several German media reports, investigators have seized emails from Scholz’s former office manager Jeanette Schwamberger that could bring new evidence to light.

Cash stash

These emails are “potentially relevant to the evidence, as they suggest considerations around deleting data”, according to the reports.

The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung said the emails clearly “incriminate” Scholz.

Other newly seized documents reportedly suggest that Scholz, contrary to what he has claimed so far, did raise the subject of reimbursement directly with Olearius.

These latest revelations suggest that Scholz and his people have “tried to provide only limited information on certain meetings or telephone conversations”, said Matthias Hauer, an opposition conservative MP.

Johannes Kahrs, a former MP with Scholz’s Social Democrats (SPD) party, is also under investigation as part of the Hamburg probe.

According to German media, investigators recently found around €200,000 in cash in a bank safe deposit box belonging to Kahrs, though it is unclear whether the find has anything to do with the cum-ex scandal.

Asked about the cash at the summer press conference, Scholz said: “I’m as curious as you are, and of course I’d like to know where it came from.” — AFP

These were the details of the news Germany’s Scholz faces grilling over tax fraud scandal for this day. We hope that we have succeeded by giving you the full details and information. To follow all our news, you can subscribe to the alerts system or to one of our different systems to provide you with all that is new.

It is also worth noting that the original news has been published and is available at Malay Mail and the editorial team at AlKhaleej Today has confirmed it and it has been modified, and it may have been completely transferred or quoted from it and you can read and follow this news from its main source.

NEXT Ukraine says troops closing in on key Russian-held stronghold of Lyman

Author Information

I am Joshua Kelly and I focus on breaking news stories and ensuring we (“Al-KhaleejToday.NET”) offer timely reporting on some of the most recent stories released through market wires about “Services” sector. I have formerly spent over 3 years as a trader in U.S. Stock Market and is now semi-stepped down. I work on a full time basis for Al-KhaleejToday.NET specializing in quicker moving active shares with a short term view on investment opportunities and trends. Address: 838 Emily Drive Hampton, SC 29924, USA Phone: (+1) 803-887-5567 Email: [email protected]