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The situation in the morning - My name is Scholz, I don't know anything!


The Chancellor testifies as a witness – and will probably remember badly. Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania is worried about its vacationers. And who dances better: Sanna Marin or Friedrich Merz? This is the situation on Friday.

Today it's about Olaf Scholz' witness appearance in the Hamburg Cum-ex investigative committee, the concern of tourism companies and holidaymakers in the Oder estuary, about politicians celebrating - and a spectacular Bundesliga rumor.

How credible is Olaf Scholz?

Sure, a mayor has many, many appointments.

He meets dozens of people every day, some for just a few minutes or even seconds.

Almost everyone wants something from you, not everything is really important, a mayor doesn't have to save everything immediately.

Completely normal.

But what would you say?

A mayor receives one of the city's most important bankers, who is plagued by a massive tax problem.

He doesn't just receive it once.

It's about tens of millions of euros that the banker owes the city, about the existence of his company, about hundreds of jobs.

Actually not an appointment that just rushes by and is quickly forgotten.



Olaf Scholz

allegedly experienced it differently.

As the first mayor of Hamburg in 2016 and 2017, he met the then head of the Hamburg Warburg Bank, Christian Olearius.

The Warburg-Bank should actually have paid back the Hanseatic city 47 million euros, wrongly reimbursed taxes from so-called cum-ex transactions.

But after the first meeting, the Hamburg tax authorities gave up and let the claim lapse.

In 2017, another 43 million were only collected under pressure from the Federal Ministry of Finance.

What was going on between Scholz, his then finance senator Peter Tschentscher, today Scholz's successor as Hamburg mayor, and the Warburg bankers Olearius and Max Warburg?

Nothing, says Scholz.

He rejects the accusation that he or the Hamburg Senate exerted influence and spared the bank.

He has repeatedly emphasized that he has no “active memory” of the conversation with the bankers.

His conclusion:

»It is quite clear that there is nothing there«

– all correct.

The Chancellor is likely to stick to this line this Friday when he

has to answer questions for the second time in

the Hamburg Parliament's investigative committee on the Cum-ex affair .

The opposition does not accept the memory gaps from Scholz, but has not yet been able to provide any clear evidence that he is telling the truth.

But she thinks she can corner Scholz this time.

One approach: In a strictly confidential meeting of the Bundestag Finance Committee in July 2020, Scholz, then Minister of Finance, is said to have said at one of the meetings with Olearius that he had spoken to him “about many things” and “changed the point of view of things from belongs to Christian Olearius«.

That sounds at least like a rough memory – and may conflict with Scholz's other statements that he no longer knows anything about the talks.

"Scholz is lying,"

says Richard Seelmaecker, chairman of the Hamburg CDU parliamentary group in the Cum-ex investigative committee, the SPIEGEL.

He demands: Scholz and his mayoral successor Tschentscher must resign.

It will hardly come to that.

Scholz' forgetfulness may not seem credible, but in this case it will probably help him to keep himself politically harmless


The CDU and the left will still try to shoot at the chancellor.

Next, they want to study files from the Cologne public prosecutor's office, which is investigating the cum-ex deals (but not against Scholz or Tschentscher).

The witness Scholz will certainly have to testify again in Hamburg.

  • Cum-ex affair in Hamburg: The chancellor and the revealing protocol 

Is swimming in the Baltic Sea dangerous?

It's high season on the Baltic Sea, the weather forecast for the next few days is good - but the

mood among tourism companies is depressed


Because the guests, those who are already there, and above all those who actually want to come, are unsettled.

Especially in the towns and holiday resorts on the Szczecin Lagoon in

Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania

, concerned holidaymakers call – or cancel completely.

The dead fish in the Oder put people off.

Is the water poisoned?

Can we still swim at all?

The Oder flows into the Szczecin Lagoon, which is about twice the size of Lake Constance, and from there it flows into the Baltic Sea, branching out around Usedom.

Only a part belongs to Germany, so far neither fish carcasses have been found here nor conspicuous measured values ​​in water samples.

As a precaution, however, the authorities advise against going swimming or eating fish from the lagoon.

You never know.

In fact, nobody can say whether the

disaster wave

that has been sloshing through the river for days will also contaminate the estuary.

Just as little has been clarified so far as to what led to the apocalyptic death of fish in the Oder.

A brackish water alga is suspected, but whether it really has poisoned the fish and why it has multiplied so rapidly - everything is still uncertain.

On Friday they want to go on the offensive in Ueckermünde am Haff.

Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania's Environment Minister Till Backhaus has announced that he wants to present the results of water tests.

Backhaus had recently turned to the country for a safe vacation.

One can expect that the SPD politician does not necessarily want to keep people away from his country's holiday regions.

Does it calm down the guests?

In the morning you can also read on how

Federal Environment Minister Steffi Lemke

assesses the situation in and on the Oder.

My colleagues Susanne Beyer and my colleague Serafin Reiber spoke to the Green Party politician for the new issue of SPIEGEL.

  • Dead fish in the Oder: first came the salt, then the potentially deadly algae 

They celebrate, the Finns!

Do I want to be ruled by a woman who celebrates boisterous parties?

But of course, why not!?

Sanna Marin

, 36-year-old Prime Minister of Finland, has had to answer for

leaked videos

showing her dancing, singing and drinking with friends.

Marin was already considered the

coolest politician in Europe

and likes to present herself that way.

She always gives insights into her private life, shows up in a leather jacket and short jeans at a rock festival.

She had had the party image for a long time.

However, the recordings that are now circulating were probably not intended for the public, and the head of government, according to her own words, is not particularly happy about the piercing.

However, she sees no reason to apologize.

Rightly so (provided her protestations that she didn't use drugs are true).

It may well be that Finland is also going through turbulent times: the threat posed by its direct neighbor Russia, NATO accession in a hurry, skyrocketing prices.

But does that mean that the prime minister can't have fun as long as she carries out her duties responsibly?

Certainly not.

The fact that the pictures still seem strange to many in this country may have something to do with the fact that we can't imagine such party videos with Olaf Scholz or Angela Merkel.

Or want.

The most recent filmed dance routines that I saw from German politicians showed Friedrich Merz swinging his hips to "Lady Bump" at the CDU summer party and Daniel Günther how he danced to the Gaga song "Helikopter 117" after his election victory in Schleswig-Holstein. rotate your arms.

You don't want to imagine what's going on behind the scenes.

  • Finnish Prime Minister: »Party-Sannas« Closing time

You can find news and background information on the war in Ukraine here:

  • Ammunition depot on fire, Russia moves hypersonic missiles to Kaliningrad – that happened at night:

    near the border with Ukraine, an ammunition depot is apparently on fire.

    Russia transports high-tech weapons to Baltic Sea exclave.

    And: Putin is said to be planning a trip to the G-20 summit.

    The overview

  • Why India isn't moving away from Putin:

    India is buying more Russian oil than ever before, and business is booming.

    New Delhi finds it hypocritical that the West is irritated.

    The biggest threat is not Kremlin boss Putin - but China 

  • "Kill in the name of Russia and you will be free":

    Putin's troops suffer heavy casualties in Ukraine.

    To fill the ranks, the notorious Wagner Troupe searches for new fighters in penal colonies.

    Money, amnesty and medals await the recruits – or death 

  • Erdoğan hopes for the end of the war "at the negotiating table":

    In Ukraine, the Turkish President met his Ukrainian counterpart and the UN Secretary General.

    Erdoğan and Guterres want to explore a solution to the problem with Kremlin chief Putin

Here is the current quiz of the day

The starting question today: In June 2022, Ukraine was granted the status of an EU candidate country.

Who else?

The rumor of the day...

… entwines around

Cristiano Ronaldo.

According to the US broadcaster CBS Sports, the Portuguese superstar wants

to switch from his current club Manchester United to Borussia Dortmund

to play in the Champions League.

Ronaldo's advisor Jorge Mendes is actively working on a transfer, it is said.

Ronaldo in the Bundesliga?

That would of course be a spectacle

- even if the goalscorer is now 37.

But does Dortmund really want to bring a diva into the team?

Who also wants to earn a little something (net salary currently around 29 million euros)?

In addition, BVB has just brought in 34-year-old Anthony Modeste to replace sick striker Sébastien Haller.

Ronaldo does not necessarily fit into the offensive structure in terms of age.

So far, Borussia Dortmund has not commented on the rumors.

This morning is an opportunity to do so: Then Managing Director Hans-Joachim Watzke invites you to the balance sheet press conference of the public limited company.

The latest news from the night

  • Woman accuses R. Kelly of abuse "hundreds" of times:

    The abuse is said to have started when she was 14 years old: In the next trial against R. Kelly, a woman made serious allegations.

    The musician has passed her in hundreds of cases

  • Berlin police are investigating Abbas for possible incitement of the people:

    The Holocaust statements by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas also concern the State Criminal Police Office.

    After the scandalous press conference with the chancellor, there is initial suspicion of incitement to hatred

  • "I have no problem doing a drug test":

    In a private video clip, Finland's Prime Minister Sanna Marin dances with friends - and is criticized.

    The 36-year-old now chooses clear words about rumors of alleged drug use

The SPIEGEL + recommendations for today

  • "Wounded comrades told me: Better fight for Ukraine in the ring":

    Oleksandr Ussyk volunteered to defend his homeland against the Russian war of aggression.

    Now he's fighting for the world title again.

    Can he focus on sports when rockets are falling at home? 

  • The man who refreshes Paris:

    Paris is getting hotter and hotter due to climate change, Johnny Matou is supposed to take care of the "public cold".

    He cools the city with the help of the Seine, whose water is distributed in underground pipes 

  • "It's just a bet on the markets":

    whether it's fear of war, the consequences of corona or the threat of a super recession: worries on the stock market seem to have just blown away.

    Jörg Krämer, chief economist at Commerzbank, does not consider the recovery on the stock markets to be sustainable 

  • »Beat the class enemy on your own soil«:

    Two weeks before the 1972 Summer Games in Munich, all of Germany was gripped by Olympic fever – except for SPIEGEL: the competition had long since lost its playfulness.

    The GDR was also held responsible for this 

Have a good day.


Yours, Philip Wittrock

Source: spiegel

All news articles on 2022-08-19

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