German Chancellor Scholz to testify in billions-euro tax evasion scandal

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz will testify before lawmakers today about his role as mayor of Hamburg in the billion-euro tax evasion scandal.

The German Chancellor will answer questions at the investigative commission established in the Hamburg State Assembly to shed light on the scandal.

It is claimed that Scholz made contradictory statements regarding the Cum-ex scandal, which is described as “the biggest tax fraud in history” in the country.

It is stated that the case may put Scholz and the ‘fragile coalition’ in a difficult position at a time of increasing public discontent in the face of rising energy inflation.

“It couldn’t have happened without political influence,” said Richard Seelmaecker, the opposition conservatives’ representative on the commission.

“This has been a problem for two and a half years. Countless files have been examined, countless people have been listened to. The result is always the same: There has been no political influence,” Scholz said recently.

What are the allegations?

In the Cum-ex investigation, it was revealed that wealthy investors, especially bankers, and lawyers in the country systematically signed complex stock deals to repay the taxes they had never paid from the state.

In the news in the German media, it is reported that Scholz, who served as the Prime Minister of the State of Hamburg in 2011-2018, met with Christian Olearis, one of the Warburg Bank partners, many times and made recommendations.

According to the news, after Scholz’s meeting with Olearius, the Hamburg finances allowed Warburg Bank to run out of time by delaying the payment of the 47m euro tax refund. However, it is stated that Warburg Bank paid 43 million euros a year later, upon pressure from the Federal Ministry of Finance.

According to calculations of German tax experts, the state treasury with Cum-ex suffered a loss of billions of euros in the period 2005-2011.

The ministry was searched.

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

Within the scope of this investigation, 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, and the messages sent to Scholz’s e-mail address, which he used during his time as the Hamburg State Prime Minister, were examined.

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