Olaf Scholz SPD, Bundeskanzler, bei einem oeffentlichen Buergergespraech in Neuruppin mit Wiebke Papenbrock SPD, MdB hier nicht im Bild. Neuruppin, 17.08.2022. Neuruppin Deutschland *** Olaf Scholz SPD , German Chancellor, at a public talk in Neuruppin with Wiebke Papenbrock SPD , Member of the Bundestag here not in the picture Neuruppin, 17 08 2022 Neuruppin Germany Copyright: xJaninexSchmitz/photothek.dex

In the “Cum-Ex” affair, the pressure on Chancellor Olaf Scholz increases before he testifies again before the investigative committee of the Hamburg Parliament. He will be questioned there on Friday for the second time as a witness. The chairman of the opposition CDU in the committee, Richard Seelmaecker, called on Thursday for the resignation of Scholz and Hamburg’s mayor Peter Tschentscher (both SPD).

In 2016, both had political influence on the treatment of the Warburg Bank, which was involved in the “Cum-Ex” affair, in order to protect the money house from high tax reclaims, Richard Seelmaecker told the “Spiegel”. “Both have to resign,” he also told the dpa.

The background to this is meetings between the then mayor Scholz and the bank’s shareholders, Christian Olearius and Max Warburg, in 2016 and 2017. According to Olearius, after the first meeting in the town hall, Scholz recommended that the bankers send a letter to the then finance senator Tschentscher, in which the bank had presented as unjustified the reclaim of 46 million euros in capital gains tax that had been wrongly reimbursed.

Tschentscher had forwarded the letter with the “request for information on the situation” to the tax authorities, where, contrary to original plans, they decided a short time later to let the claim run into the statute of limitations.

Tschentscher had confirmed the forwarding of the letter to the committee. However, he described the allegation of influence as “unfounded”. Scholz, who acknowledged the meetings with the bankers but says he can no longer remember the content of the talks, also denies any influence.

It was clear to him: “Scholz is lying,” Seelmaecker told the “Spiegel”. He called the gaps in memory cited by the chancellor “simply impossible”.

The fact that the gaps in memory were fake is also clear from the minutes published by “Stern” of a meeting of the Bundestag Finance Committee that was classified as secret, according to which Scholz admitted to a meeting with the Warburg shareholders in July 2020, but downplayed its importance, said Seelmaecker the dpa. “And with us on the committee, he suddenly couldn’t remember it.”

He will confront Scholz with it again on Friday, he announced. “And he won’t be able to say this time, it’s secret.” Before the investigative committee of the citizenry, the witnesses would be released from tax secrecy by the representatives of the shareholders and the bank for the duration of the hearing. “This then also eliminates the reason for secrecy for the information in the Bundestag Finance Committee,” he said.

The head of the Finanzwende citizens’ movement, former Greens member of the Bundestag Gerhard Schick, also said “that the chancellor probably made a false statement to the finance committee”. He also sees evidence from parliamentary and journalistic research that “rich bankers successfully exerted influence on politics” in Hamburg.

Schick also called on Tschentscher to resign. By forwarding the bank’s letter of defense to the tax authorities, Tschentscher “took control of the process,” he said. “He sent the bank’s arguments back to the officials, even though they were already available to the administration. This is (…) clearly to be understood as exerting influence – as an indication that these arguments must be taken into account.”

For Left Chairman Norbert Hackbusch it is also the time when Scholz cheated

SPD chairman Milan Pein pointed out that the allegations had not yet been confirmed in the committee. More than 50 witnesses from different offices, authorities and departments “made it very clear independently of one another that there was no political influence on the Warburg Bank’s tax proceedings”. All witness statements also corresponded to the notes, reports and draft decisions of the tax authority and the tax office.