‘Cum-ex’ tax scandal in Germany haunts Chancellor Scholz

Before the statement of Olaf Scholz of the SPD, who served as the Prime Minister of the State of Hamburg in 2011-2018, in the investigative commission established in the Hamburg State Assembly to clarify the scandal on 19 August, new developments took place.

Within the scope of the investigation carried out by the Cologne Prosecutor’s Office on the subject, it was revealed that more than 200 thousand euros were found in the private safe of Johannes Kahrs, a former SPD Bundestag deputy and close to Scholz.

In the news published in the German press and based on the members of the research commission in the Hamburg State Assembly, it was also stated that the messages sent to the e-mail address used by Scholz during his term as the Hamburg State Prime Minister were examined.

“There is no evidence of political interference”

The German public wants to reveal what role Scholz played in the scandal as the Chancellor of the State of Hamburg, regarding the Warburg Bank, which is stated to be involved in the tax scandal.

German Chancellor Scholz, who had testified before the investigative commission, said that he did not remember the content of the meetings he had with the Warburg Bank executives and Kahrs.

Scholz, at the press conference held in Berlin today, stated that he does not have any responsibility for the developments regarding the Warburg Bank and said, “There is no evidence of any political interference.” used the phrase.

Chancellor Scholz claimed that Kahrs did not know anything about the cash in the money box in the bank, and that he had not spoken to Kahrs for a long time.

When a journalist claimed that the bankers did not give the “stolen money” after meeting with Scholz, Scholz said, “If you had to prove this claim, you wouldn’t be able to prove it. Think about it when you say something like that.” warned.

Opposition parties in the country are also demanding that Scholz explain what he talked to the bankers and where the money found in former MP Kahrs’ bank vault came from.

Cologne Prosecutor’s Office had searched the buildings of various financial institutions in Hamburg, Frankfurt and Munich, and the Ministry of Finance during Scholz’s time as Finance Minister, on suspicion of tax evasion through transactions called “Cum-ex”.

In the “Cum-ex” investigation, which is known as the biggest tax fraud scandal in Germany’s history, it was revealed that wealthy investors and lawyers, especially bankers in the country, systematically signed complex stock deals to repay the taxes they had never paid from the state.

Gerhard Strate, one of the country’s well-known criminal defense lawyers, filed a criminal complaint in February, accusing Scholz and former Hamburg Mayor Peter Tschentscher of aiding and abetting tax evasion in the “Cum-ex” scandal. Ex had accused him of not demanding timely refunds of the 47m euros it received from the state treasury through stock deals.

In the German press, it was stated that Scholz met with Christian Olearis, one of the Warburg Bank partners, and made recommendations many times, and that Warburg Bank donated more than 45,000 euros to the SPD in 2017.

According to the calculations of German tax experts, between 2005 and 2011, the state treasury was inflicted with a loss of 7.2 billion euros with “Cum-ex”.

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