Cum-ex scandal: Scholz has no memory – but a witness does
Finance Minister Olaf Scholz (SPD) met several times with the main owners of the Warburg Bank during his tenure as Hamburg’s mayor. The bank should pay back millions in taxes. According to his own statements, Scholz cannot remember the conversations. New documents and testimony from a witness give cause for doubt.
The Hamburg economic authority is said to have informed Scholz about possible content in a briefing shortly before the appointment. This is what the “Manager Magazin” reports. The bankers could ask the First Mayor about cum-ex deals, it should have been read in it. These stock deals refund taxes that were never paid.
Hamburg economic authority sent memo to the Senate
The letter also pointed out that the Cologne Public Prosecutor’s Office is investigating the Warburg Bank for tax evasion. The magazine also reports that there was also talk of the case of a Frankfurt bank.
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This shows that “repayment of evaded taxes could even threaten the existence of some institutions”. The letter was received by the Senate Chancellery before Olaf Scholz’s first meeting with the co-owners of Warburg Bank, Christian Olearius (79) and Max Warburg (73). After this there were two more meetings.
Cum-ex scandal: millions of taxes barred
It is precisely these meetings between the bank and politics in 2016 and 2017 that an investigative committee of the citizenship is currently looking at in Hamburg. The members want to clarify whether there was political influence on the decision of the tax administration.
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Hamburg allowed possible additional tax claims of 47 million euros to expire in 2016, a further claim of 43 million euros was only called in later after the intervention of the Federal Ministry of Finance. In the meantime, the Warburg Bank has paid all tax claims, but this is not an admission of guilt, as it emphasized.
Olaf Scholz has gaps in his memory
In his questioning before the Hamburg investigative committee, Scholz denied any suspicion of influence. He repeatedly referred to gaps in memory regarding the content of the conversations.At the first meeting of Scholz, Olearius and Warburg, a representative of the economic authorities was also present. He testified on Friday before the committee of inquiry – and still remembered the content of the conversation.
Federal Minister of Finance Olaf Scholz
Scholz, Olearius and Warburg: What happened at the meeting?
The man from the economic authority also confirmed that a briefing with information about Cum-Ex had been sent to the Senate Chancellery beforehand. In the conversation, the bankers would then have said “on the general global economic situation and also on the Cum-Ex issue”. The bankers largely presented their point of view, interrupted by a few questions from the mayor.
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Among other things, Scholz asked what cum-ex deals were. It was not about a threat to the existence of the bank. There was also no follow-up to the conversation: “The topic did not concern us either before or after.”