Chancellor Olaf Scholz's name tag at a summons before the Hamburg Senate on the Cum-ex affair
Photo: Clemens Bilan / EPA
The factions of the traffic light coalition promise more openness in the cum-ex affair surrounding Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD).
Statements by Scholz from July 1, 2020 before the Finance Committee of the Bundestag should therefore no longer be classified.
At the time, Scholz was finance minister and vice-chancellor in the cabinet of then-Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU).
As the factions of the SPD, Greens and FDP told the dpa news agency, a corresponding decision should be made this Wednesday.
All redacted passages should be removed from the minutes of the meeting and the classification as "confidential" should be removed.
The document will not be published, but all members of the Bundestag and representatives of the federal states will have access without special restrictions and may talk about the content - this was not allowed before.
"More transparency is in the public interest," explained representatives of the traffic light groups.
The financial policy spokesman for the SPD parliamentary group, Michael Schrodi, described the step as a contribution to objectifying the discussion.
The protocol contains no surprises.
"False allegations about supposedly secret promises and contradictory statements are being pulled out of the ground." However, new, decisive insights into Scholz's role in the affair are not to be expected after the step.
The financial policy spokesman for the FDP, Markus Herbrand, explained that the step would "certainly not answer all open questions about the billions in fraud in the financial sector".
However, it shows the clear will of the traffic light for clarification and transparency.
"The fraud must be cleared up and those personally responsible must be punished."
In »cum-ex« transactions, blocks of shares were moved back and forth by several participants around the dividend record date with (»cum«) and without (»ex«) a right to a dividend.
As a result, tax offices reimbursed capital gains taxes that had not been paid at all.
The state suffered billions in damage.
The role of Hamburg's financial administration in 2016 and 2017 is much discussed. At that time, today's Chancellor Scholz was Hamburg's mayor.
A committee of inquiry in the Hanseatic city is to clarify whether leading SPD politicians had any influence on the tax treatment of the Warburg Bank during Scholz's time as mayor.
At the end of 2016, contrary to the original plan, the tax authorities waived a reclaim of 47 million euros from the bank.
According to its own statements, the bank only settled all outstanding tax reclaims in 2020 after a court ruling, but is still trying to get the money back through legal channels.