Finance Minister Olaf Scholz and Hamburg's Mayor Peter Tschentscher (archive): The opposition has questions
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The CDU in the Hamburg citizenship wants to apply for a parliamentary committee of inquiry (PUA) to deal with leading SPD politicians with the Warburg Bank, which was involved in the Cum-Ex scandal.
It must be clarified whether ex-mayor and vice-chancellor Olaf Scholz and his successor in the Hamburg city hall, Peter Tschentscher, had influence on the decisions of the tax office, said parliamentary group leader Dennis Thering on Saturday.
In the Warburg case, Scholz and Tschentscher are accused of sparing the long-established institute, possibly for political reasons - and therefore of having waived the repayment of unlawfully refunded taxes.
It was about so-called cum-ex deals - stock deals with which bankers and stock marketers had defrauded the state for years.
The finance professionals had capital gains tax reimbursed several times by the tax office for dividends that had only been paid once.
Shortly after a phone call between Warburg co-owner Christian Olearius and Scholz at the end of 2016, the tax authorities dropped a reclaim of 47 million euros, another was only requested after the Federal Ministry of Finance intervened.
At that time Scholz was First Mayor, Tschentscher Senator for Finance.
SPIEGEL had reported that the tax authorities now want to ask the Warburg Bank to pay.
CDU politician Thering said they wanted to investigate whether Scholz and Tschentscher had any influence on the Hamburg tax administration.
In the special meeting of the budget committee on Friday evening, which Tschentscher had not attended, contrary to the requests of the opposition, this was not possible.
"It is therefore now our opposition duty to provide clarification with the help of a PUA," said Thering.
He called it "worrying that this explanation is not possible with red-green, but only against red-green."
The left-wing parliamentary group and the individual member of the FDP, Anna von Treuenfels-Frowein, also support the move.
The necessary majority would be secured without the AfD.
The party is for a PUA.
The pressure increases
Scholz rejects the allegations in the affair.
He already had to ask himself questions about the cum-ex scandal - in the Bundestag.
There is still no clear evidence of Scholz's influence.
But the pressure on him has increased since two further meetings with Warburg's co-boss Olearius became known in 2016.
Initially, Scholz had only confirmed one meeting in 2017, he does not want to have any memories of the others.
These meetings were noted in Scholz's calendar.
According to Olearius' diary, he also presented him with a kind of argumentation paper, and a few days later Scholz recommended the banker by phone to send it to the then Finance Senator Peter Tschentscher without comment.
In the questioning in the Finance Committee of the Bundestag Scholz insisted on memory gaps.
Presumably also to rebut any suspicion of involvement, the finance minister later announced that the law would be corrected.
They are intended to ensure the collection of profits from these fraud cases even after the statute of limitations has expired.
According to financial politicians in the finance committee, the SPD politician signaled this.
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jpz / dpa