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"Scholz lied": Vice Chancellor after "memory gaps" in need - the next breakdown has already happened

2020-09-11T10:58:53.609Z

The SPD's hopes rest on Olaf Scholz. But of all things a banker's diary gives rise to bad suspicions. The opposition now wants to get serious.



The SPD's hopes rest on Olaf Scholz.

But of all things a banker's diary gives rise to bad suspicions.

The opposition now wants to get serious.

  • Olaf Scholz is Vice Chancellor - and meanwhile also a candidate for Chancellor of the SPD.

  • In connection with the cum-ex scandal, of all things, the finance minister is now coming under pressure.

  • The occasion is explosive data from a banker's diary - the opposition accuses Scholz of lying.

Update from September 10,

11:04 a.m.: The credibility of the

SPD Chancellor candidate

and

Federal Finance Minister Olaf Scholz

is scratched

- he is primarily responsible for this, as he received the co-owner of

Warburg Bank

,

Christian Olearius

, four years ago several times in his then Mayor's office in

Hamburg

.

And that at a time when the banker and the bank itself had long since been investigated for serious tax evasion.

Why Scholz, as the social democratic mayor, met three times an entrepreneur involved in the

Cum-Ex affair

is difficult for the opposition in the Bundestag to grasp.

The 62-year-old finance minister had to

testify

twice yesterday about this dubious involvement from his time as

Hamburg's

first

mayor

.

Behind closed doors, the minister had to answer questions from the finance committee - after which he had to submit to a public government survey.

The accusation raised by

the Left

and the

FDP

,

among others

, is that

Scholz

was involved in the complex transactions of the

Hamburg Warburg Bank

, in which illegal tax refunds were deceived.

FDP demands: Parliamentary investigation into the Cum-Ex affair

Scholz

initially kept a low profile - when the head of the

Warburg Bank's

diaries were then

confiscated and evaluated, the

finance minister had

to allow contact with the banker.

An egg dance that Scholz was badly chalked up yesterday - and which could also have a significant impact on his candidacy for chancellor.

Compared to the

picture

,

FDP financial expert

Florian Toncar

criticizes

that Scholz has already claimed too many gaps in memory when it comes to the content of the conversation with the Warburg boss.

Again he is now pleading on

Twitter

to investigate the reasons for the dubious meetings:

I urge @CDU_Hamburg to clear the way for a parliamentary investigation into #Warburg and #CumEx.

pic.twitter.com/amEkwKApHk

- Florian Toncar (@florian_toncar) September 10, 2020

A parliamentary committee of inquiry in Hamburg is now becoming inevitable.

Florian Toncar, FDP

Since then, things have been anything but smooth for Scholz, because the minister is now receiving ridicule and malice on social media for a completely different matter.

He and the

Federal Family Minister Franziska Giffey (SPD)

opened a new day care center in

the

Federal Ministry of

Finance

on Monday

.

The building on the corner of Leipziger Strasse and Wilhelmstrasse in Berlin offers 20 places in a prime location for children up to three years of age, which, according to the

Berliner Morgenpost

, are

initially

reserved for

employees of the

Ministry

of

Finance

.

Many find a pure “Protz” day care center on social networks.

The fact that the daycare center bears the name “Treasure Chest” is now causing

cynical comments and laughter

under a

Facebook post

from

Giffey

.

+

Federal Finance Minister Olaf Scholz (SPD) and Federal Family Minister Franziska Giffey (SPD) distributed soft toys on Monday at the opening of the Federal Ministry of Finance's new day care center.

© Kay Nietfeld / DPA / Picture Alliance

Update from September 9th, 4 p.m.:

Even after the

government

survey, a day of

embarrassing questions for Vice Chancellor Olaf Scholz

(SPD) continues.

In a recent hour, the Bundestag opposition has again raised serious allegations in the dispute over tax debts not reclaimed in the Cum-Ex scandal.

"The finance minister says Cum-Ex is a mess, but during his time as mayor of Hamburg he opened

his office several times

to

Warburg banker Olearius

, he repeatedly deceived the German Bundestag", explained the

left-wing politician Fabio de Masi

.

It was only on instructions from the Federal Ministry of Finance that Hamburg prevented a further statute of limitations on the bank's tax debts.

"Mr. Scholz met with Mr. Olearius on November 10, 2017 - on the day that the letter from the Ministry of Finance arrived in Hamburg," he emphasized.

"Mr. Scholz was untruthful,"

stated de Masi, referring to an earlier statement by Scholz, that there were no further facts apart from those known in the press.

It was only later that further meetings became known.

"You have to know for yourself if you want to campaign with this backpack," he added.

"An average earner pays a 36 percent tax rate, they all pay it every year - the trust these people have in fair tax assessment is destroyed," criticized the

FDP financial expert Florian Toncar

.

The findings from the

banker Olearius' diaries

are not evidence by themselves, but they could become the subject of legal proceedings, he warned.

"I assume that what we have learned from you in the meantime is complete," said Toncar. Now a parliamentary investigation must be opened in Hamburg. Whoever is responsible for the decision in the Warburg case

must expect consequences

.

Scholz had met the banker three times and had him explained three times why the Warburg Bank did not want to repay the taxes;

Scholz had accepted a letter and suggested sending a letter to the Senator for Finance, said the

Green Lisa Paus

: "I have no idea how someone who really thinks Cum-Ex is a mess can do something like that." It's difficult for her to believe that there was no political interference.

Cum-ex scandal: Olaf Scholz has a difficult hour in the Bundestag

Update from September 9, 2 p.m.:

The

government survey in the Bundestag is

drawing to a close.

Olaf Scholz

answered

all

the opposition's inquiries about the Cum-Ex affair in Hamburg

in an emphatically matter-of-fact tone

- but without giving any further information on the matter.

It is normal not to remember all the meetings during his tenure as mayor, said Scholz among other things.

He also referred to the independence of the tax authorities.

There was no influence.

This implied: Not even in the case of the Warburg Bank.

The Vice Chancellor got through the questioning without making any explosive statements of his own.

However, the content of the

speeches of the opposition

also remains: In the room, among other things, the questions why Hamburg was the only federal state to

waive

the

repayment of cum-ex tax claims

- and whether there is a connection with

party donations to the SPD

from which, among other things, the FDP spoke in plenary.

Even before the survey, Scholz had

granted another meeting with the Warburg banker Olearius

in the

finance committee

(see update from 1:16 p.m.).

Update from September 9th, 1:48 pm:

The

FDP politician Christian Dürr also

continues to

pester

the finance minister.

“These gaps in memory are remarkable for a candidate for Chancellor,” he complains, referring to Scholz's statements about the

Olearius meeting

.

He calls for clarification as to why an SPD candidate for the Bundestag who brokered the meeting received extensive party donations from the Warburg Bank in 2017.

Scholz refers to the

regulations of the Hamburg SPD

: As the holder of a government office at the time, he was not allowed to have any knowledge of this issue.

Scholz in a delicate government survey: "Thousands of conversations as mayor"

Update from November 9, 1:34 p.m.:

The

Green finance politician Lisa Paus also

wants to corner Scholz in the plenary.

“There was no political influence on the decision of the Hamburg tax office,” he replies.

That is "all you can say about it". Meeting entrepreneurs and listening to their concerns is part of the political business, says Scholz, with a view to the further meeting with Olearius that has now been granted (see update from 1:16 pm). He has

been mayor Thousands of conversations were held

- it was normal not to be able to remember all of them.

All three of Scholz's main critics from the opposition have had their say.

The Vice Chancellor has largely let the allegations roll off.

Update from November 9th, 1.30 p.m.:

The

left-wing politician Fabio de Masi is

now also picking up the thread

.

He wants to know how it could be that a

tax officer

opposes the instructions of politics in cum-ex issues - and whether the Hamburg SPD should not repay party donations from the Warburg Bank.

He does not want to influence the decision of the Hamburg SPD, says Scholz, he now lives in Potsdam.

He is also in favor of the tax authorities making their own decisions.

Update from September 9th, 1:26 p.m.: FDP financial expert Florian Toncar is

now openly attacking Scholz in his question: He wants to know how the finance minister wants to explain

to low-income earners

that in the cum-ex scandal,

47 million euros were

not reclaimed

from the Warburg Bank

were.

Scholz initially evades the question.

When asked, the finance minister emphasized that the tax authorities in Hamburg decided, like everywhere else in Germany, independently.

There was "no" intervention from politics.

"Scholz lied": Vice Chancellor admits another meeting - now explosive questioning in the Bundestag

Update from September 9, 1:16 p.m.:

In the Bundestag, the questioning of

Finance Minister Olaf Scholz

begins

.

In his opening statement,

however

, the

SPD politician

has not yet referred to the allegations against himself in the course of the cum-ex scandal - he first speaks about the incidents at the Reichstag and the federal government's stimulus package in the corona crisis.

However, Scholz (SPD) had previously confirmed a second meeting with

Warburg Bank co-owner Christian Olearius

in 2016.

According to information from the German Press Agency, he said in the Bundestag Finance Committee that he had

no concrete memory of the conversation

and that he obviously attached little importance to it.

The appointment was only reconstructed on the basis of calendar records.

So far only one meeting between Olearius and Scholz has been known.

Scholz was Hamburg's mayor at the time.

Scholz lied to the Bundestag ": Now it's getting serious - Linker:" The thing stinks "

Update from September 9th, 10.30 a.m.:

At 1 p.m. the time has come:

Finance Minister Olaf Scholz (SPD)

will answer questions from members of the Bundestag - in the large parliamentary plenum.

Then there is a non-public hearing in the finance committee.

Among other things, the

Left

accuses Scholz of having

lied

to

the Bundestag

- it's about the

Cum-Ex scandal

and

tax claims of the Warburg Bank worth millions

, which the Hamburg financial authorities did not demand.

In a previous survey in the finance committee, Scholz said there was

nothing to report

about his meeting with

banker Christian Olearius

that was not already in the press, said

group finance expert Fabio de Masi

in a tweet on Wednesday.

"That is an answer and it was untrue," he emphasized.

Nebelkerzen: About the spin #Scholz would not have answered questions about me about further meetings with Olearius (bad enough) and we should have asked.

One thread.

1. He replied: There was nothing except what was already in the press.

That's an answer and it was untrue. # CumEx

- Fabio De Masi (Member of the Bundestag) (@FabioDeMasi) September 9, 2020

At least it seems clear that Scholz did not answer the question of whether there had been further discussions with Olearius in a survey in March - the portal

t-online.de

quotes

from a minutes of the meeting.

The environment of the finance minister now withdraws to the fact that questions are first collected and then answered in a bundle.

Scholz probably forgot the relevant question.

"Scholz also has to explain whether tax officials in Hamburg really resisted two orders from the Federal Ministry of Finance on their own to secure the million dollar claim against Warburg," said de Masi of the website.

"It stinks," he said.

The

parliamentary manager of the SPD parliamentary group

, Carsten Schneider, accused the parliamentary groups of campaigning.

“You are trying to discredit the person of the Federal Minister of Finance, who has so far successfully mastered the effects of the crisis on the health care system and jobs in Germany, and thus want to damage the SPD's candidate for chancellor.

That won't work, ”Schneider told

t-online

.

"Scholz lied to the Bundestag": Serious allegations against Vice Chancellor - Hofreiter speaks of "hypocrisy"

Update from September 8, 3:10 p.m.: Olaf Scholz

himself rejected allegations that he lied to the Bundestag on Monday - but the opposition

did not give up

before the

finance minister was questioned on Wednesday

.

"If you look at the unbelievable processes in the financial industry, then you can only say to Mr. Scholz that he has to explain a lot this week," said

Green parliamentary group leader Anton Hofreiter

on Tuesday in the Bundestag.

Scholz must also be asked "whether it is not pure hypocrisy to say that he wants complete transparency" when he told the Bundestag Finance Committee the untruth about meetings with the head of the Warburg Bank in connection with so-called cum-ex deals said Hofreiter.

In a democracy, trust is needed that the

economically powerful will be treated in the same way as any taxpayer

.

Olaf Scholz: Has the finance minister "lied to the Bundestag" - is he now speaking to himself?

Update from September 7th, 9:10 p.m.:

In less than two days,

Vice Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) has to

answer questions

in the

finance committee

- the opposition accuses him of having

concealed

previously

explosive meetings with the banker Christian Olearius in the

same place.

In the background there is probably the bad suspicion that Scholz, as the governing mayor of Hamburg, may have

protected

the

Warburg Bank

from

tax reclaims in the Cum-Ex scandal

.

Scholz does not seem to have challenged the allegations so far.

He told the

Reuters

news

agency

on Monday

that he had so far answered all questions about the case - "that will continue to be the case," he emphasized.

He is for "full transparency".

At the same time, the designated

SPD candidate for Chancellor made

it clear that there was no political influence on the decisions of tax offices.

He was always harsh against cum-ex fraud.

It is now also known that Scholz

wants to answer questions in the committee for around an hour

on

Wednesday

.

However, there is apparently also in the population - and among SPD supporters - the expectation that Scholz should now ensure

more

transparency than before.

In a Civey survey commissioned by

Spiegel Online

, 82.5 percent of those questioned said that Scholz should "provide more detailed information than he has previously done". Among SPD sympathizers, more than 60 percent of those surveyed were of this opinion.

The

left-finance expert Fabio de Masi

wants meanwhile Scholz also attack from another site on Wednesday: According to information obtained by his party expert opinion had

cum ex still possible in Germany

, he tweeted on Monday evening.

It is also implied that, in de Masi's opinion, the federal government, which Scholz has been jointly responsible for for three years now, has not taken action against tax practice too comprehensively.

What our expert Prof. Spengel, Germany's top #CumEx expert, writes in his opinion on the public hearing of the finance committee: #CumEx is still possible!

https://t.co/mup47pHImF @Linksfraktion pic.twitter.com/FStdfkCqhE

- Fabio De Masi (Member of the Bundestag) (@FabioDeMasi) September 7, 2020

"Scholz lied to the Bundestag": Serious allegations against Vice Chancellor - Showdown on Wednesday?

First report from September 5:

Berlin -

Olaf Scholz

should successfully lead the SPD * into the Bundestag election campaign in 2021.

At least that is the plan of the party leadership.

But the Vice Chancellor, who received good marks in the Corona crisis and who sees the German economy almost over the top, could now face a problem from his time as Hamburg mayor.

The tricky keyword:

Cum-Ex

.

Olaf Scholz in the cum-ex scandal: Did he “lie to the Bundestag”?

There are new allegations

about the tax scandal and the

Hamburg Warburg Bank

.

Now the

Bundestag Finance Committee

wants to

summon Scholz - next Wednesday.

"We urgently need to talk," said the chairman of the committee,

Katja Hessel

(FDP), of

Wirtschaftswoche

The

Left parliamentary group

also

requested

a

current hour in the Bundestag

on the subject of cum-ex at the Warburg Bank and the “role of politics”

for Wednesday

.

"Olaf Scholz said the untruth in the Bundestag," said the parliamentary group's financial policy spokesman,

Fabio De Masi

, on Friday in Berlin.

His Green * colleague

Lisa Paus

said in a tweet that Scholz had "lied to the Bundestag".

Olaf Scholz: Controversial data from the banker's diary - Did the Vice Chancellor meeting keep silent?

The reason for this are the latest reports that Scholz is said to have maintained more intensive contacts with the bank than previously indicated.

The

Süddeutsche Zeitung

,

Die

Zeit

and the

NDR

reported on Thursday that Scholz met

the co-owner of the private bank,

Christian Olearius

,

more often than previously admitted in surveys

during his time as

First Mayor in Hamburg

.

That emerges from the banker's diaries.

This amalgamation of economic & political power fuels distrust in democracy!

Research shows donations and meetings between # CumEx fraudsters & SPD politicians.

So that the damage to democracy does not become even greater, #Scholz now has to provide complete clarification!

pic.twitter.com/RU03nPtvaX

- Sven Giegold (@sven_giegold) September 4, 2020

Accordingly, there were three meetings and one phone call between Scholz and Olearius in 2016 and 2017.

So far, only one meeting between Olearius and Scholz in 2017 was known.

According to reports, three days after the phone call, the banker received a notice from the Hamburg tax authorities that they would not claim back an amount of 47 million euros.

Scholz is said

not to have mentioned

the

meeting with Olearius,

not even when the process was a topic in the Bundestag finance committee in March and July.

At the time, there were investigations against the Warburg Bank and Olearius on suspicion of serious tax evasion.

The bank was threatened with high tax back payments because of their involvement in so-called cum-ex deals.

SPD candidate Olaf Scholz: Opposition has serious suspicions - "would be a very plausible explanation"

A

spokesman for the finance ministry

pointed out on Friday that Scholz - who was recently able to look forward to good polls - had twice made detailed statements in the finance committee that he had spoken to representatives of banks, including the Warburg Bank.

The opposition, however, insists on further clarification: The financial policy spokeswoman for the Greens parliamentary group,

Lisa Paus

, demanded that Scholz should “finally put the cards on the table”.

"We demand that Scholz come to the finance committee for the third time next week and this time finally tell the whole truth."

"Olaf Scholz has kept the two meetings with Olearius in 2016 from the Bundestag Finance Committee twice


," said the financial policy spokesman for the FDP parliamentary group,

Florian Toncar

, of the

dpa

.

“In two surveys, he presented himself as buttoned up and answered many questions only minimalistically or with generalities.

A significantly stronger personal role of Scholz in the Warburg tax case than previously known would be a very plausible explanation for this behavior. "

Left *

financial expert Fabio de Masi

indicated on Twitter that the opposition's ability to ask questions had so far been deliberately kept low.

Now, in association with Paus and Toncar, he does not want to let the finance minister get along: "It is pathetic and we will be united as an opposition and not let it go without prejudice to our political differences!" He emphasized.

Left, FDP and Greens are currently working together on another issue.

It is pathetic and we will be united as opposition and not let this pass regardless of our political differences!

@florian_toncar @lisapaus

- Fabio De Masi (Member of the Bundestag) (@FabioDeMasi) September 4, 2020

Cum-Ex cost the state billions - Scholz is now in focus

A

cum-ex transaction

is the

shifting of shares

around a

dividend cut-off date

in order to have a capital gains tax paid once by the tax authorities.

As a result, the public sector has

lost

billions of dollars in tax money in

the past

.

The federal government put a stop to the practice in 2012.

Some of the cases from then are currently being processed by the courts.

In Germany's first criminal case on cum-ex deals, the Bonn Regional Court imposed suspended sentences on two defendants in March and came to the conclusion that the controversial practice was to be regarded as a criminal offense.

This was the first time that this was determined by a court.

(

dpa / AFP / fn

) *

Merkur.de is part of the Ippen digital network

.

Financial experts predict a massive tax hole in 2021.

Tax revenues are expected to drop by almost 20 billion euros.

List of rubric lists: © Michael Kappeler / dpa / Picture Alliance

Source: merkur

All news articles on 2020-09-11

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