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Olaf Scholz: investigative committee should clear up the Hamburg cum-ex scandal

2020-10-28T20:53:47.922Z

Did Olaf Scholz ensure that a Hamburg bank didn't have to pay 47 million euros in taxes? That is now to be investigated. There are also allegations against Mayor Tschentscher.



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Olaf Scholz denies the allegations

Photo: M. Popow / imago images / Metodi Popow

During his time as Mayor of Hamburg, did Olaf Scholz persuade the tax office to allow a 47 million euro additional tax claim against the Warburg Bank to become statute-barred?

A parliamentary committee of inquiry in the Hamburg citizenship is now dealing with the Cum-Ex scandal.

The CDU, Left Party and the only FDP MP Anna von Treuenfels-Frowein pushed through the committee on Wednesday with the necessary number of votes from a fifth of all MPs.

The focus of the investigation is on Scholz, today Federal Minister of Finance and SPD candidate for Chancellor, and the current mayor and then Finance Senator Peter Tschentscher.

The former SPD budget spokesman in the Bundestag, Johannes Kahrs, as well as the former SPD member of the Bundestag and Interior Senator Alfons Pawelczyk are also mentioned in the seven-page motion.

The government factions of the SPD and the Greens extended the investigation period to be dealt with by the committee with an additional motion.

"Warburg Bank's cum-ex deals were already carried out before 2016, presumably from 2006 onwards," said the Greens chairman in the committee, Farid Müller.

In this respect, it is pointless to limit the study period - as requested by the CDU and the left - to the years 2016 and 2017.

Scholz met with Warburg co-owners

The background to the committee are meetings between Scholz in 2016 and 2017 and Warburg co-owner Christian Olearius.

Investigations were underway against Olearius on suspicion of serious tax evasion in connection with cum-ex deals.

Later, Hamburg allowed an additional tax claim of 47 million euros to become statute-barred, another 43 million euros was only claimed after the Federal Ministry of Finance intervened.

The meetings had become known through entries in the diary of Olearius, which also suggested a close connection between bank representatives and the responsible tax officer.

Scholz and Tschentscher have already rejected all allegations several times.

Both in the finance committee of the Bundestag and in the Bundestag itself, Scholz emphasized that there was no influence.

The Warburg Group accused the CDU, Linken and Treuenfels-Frowein of having set up the committee solely for political purposes in the federal election campaign.

The financial policy spokesman for the left-wing parliamentary group, Norbert Hackbusch, said on the other hand: "This committee is overdue because the Senate's promise of comprehensive clarification was not kept cold and cheeky."

Cum-Ex is considered to be the largest tax fraud in German history.

In such transactions, investors took advantage of a loophole in the law.

Around the dividend cut-off date, shares with ("cum") and without ("ex") dividend entitlements were shifted back and forth between several participants.

In the end, the tax authorities no longer knew who the papers belonged to, and tax authorities reimbursed capital gains taxes that had not been paid.

The state suffered an estimated loss of around twelve billion euros.

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ptz / dpa

Source: spiegel

All news articles on 2020-10-28

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