Scholz, from the Social Democratic Party (SPD), who was the Prime Minister of the State of Hamburg in the 2011-2018 period, answered the questions of the deputies in the investigative commission established to shed light on the scandal.
Lawmakers want to reveal whether Scholz, as Chancellor of the State of Hamburg, helped prevent him from repaying 47m euros in taxes to the Hamburg-based Warburg Bank, which was allegedly involved in the tax scandal.
In a statement after the meeting, which lasted about 3.5 hours, Scholz stated that it was a good and interesting session with clear results, adding, “There was no political influence on the decisions of the financial administration and the administration. There is no event that contradicts this statement.” said.
Stating that he found it good to deal with the subject in depth in the short session, Scholz said, “I expected it to take much longer. The fact that it went quickly and quickly shows the fact that everything is on the table. From this, it can be clearly concluded that ‘nothing was and there was no effect’.” used the phrase.
“I don’t know, I don’t remember” answers from the Prime Minister
According to the news in the German press, Scholz stated that he frequently answered “I don’t know” or “I don’t remember” to the questions asked by the deputies in the commission, and that he hoped that the suspicions and accusations without any evidence would come to an end.
Christian Democratic Union Party (CDU) Hamburg State Deputy and Research Commission Member Götz Wiese stated that Scholz, who did not make any contribution to the clarification of the incident, “again suffered from memory loss” and said that this was disappointing.
The Cologne Prosecutor’s Office conducts an investigation
In addition to the Investigation Commission in the Hamburg State Assembly, the Cologne Public Prosecutor’s Office is also investigating.
Cologne Prosecutor’s Office had searched the buildings of various financial institutions in Hamburg, Frankfurt and Munich, and the ministry during Scholz’s time as Finance Minister, on suspicion of tax evasion through transactions called “Cum-Ex”.
In 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.
It was also revealed that Scholz used contradictory statements regarding his meetings with Christian Olearius, one of the Warburg Bank partners, in the statements he made at the Bundestag Finance Committee.
In the “Cum-Ex” investigation, known as “the biggest tax fraud scandal in the history of Germany”, it was revealed that wealthy investors and lawyers, especially bankers, systematically signed complex stock deals with the state to repay the taxes they had never paid.
In the news in the German press, it is reported that Scholz met with Christian Olearis, a partner of Warburg Bank, 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 euros 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, with “Cum-Ex”, the state treasury suffered a loss of billions of euros in the period 2005-2011.
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