Almost a year ago to the day, Olaf Scholz launched his election campaign in a square in the heart of Berlin, pumped up by a spectacular rise in the polls, which would lead him to victory. In the background, albeit in the angle of the cameras, an old Prussian palace had barely caught the eye: it was the Berlin offices of a large Hamburg bank, MM Warburg & Co. A summer later, “the Warburg affair has the potential to bring down the chancellor”, affirms the former deputy Fabio De Masi (Die Linke, extreme left).
Originally from Hamburg like the chancellor, he has been convinced for years that Olaf Scholz is involved, at least indirectly, in political and financial maneuvers which have enabled the bank to emerge without great damage from the global tax optimization scandal. CumEx”. The ex-elected had brought the case before the Bundestag while, in the city-state of Hamburg in the spring of 2021, a commission of inquiry had heard the former mayor, who had become federal minister of finance and candidate for the chancellery.
Read also “CumCum”, “CumEx”: the dividend scandal simply explained
Olaf Scholz’s line of defense is thin: he initially denied having met with the directors of the Warburg bank. He now claims to no longer remember their exchanges. This avoidance strategy worked well during the campaign. Monday, August 8, as the commission of inquiry resumes its work, the Chancellor’s spokesman adopted the same tactic, saying: “I can exclude that he was aware. He also confirmed that Mr. Scholz would appear again on August 19 before the commission in Hamburg.
The latter resumed its work after receiving the 140-page report from the Cologne public prosecutor’s office, competent in this case.
“It will become even more uncomfortable for the Chancellor. The commission’s work has only just begun,” says investigative journalist Oliver Schröm of the ARD television channel. In October, the reporter, who should release a book of revelations (on “the Scholz dossier, the Chancellor, money and power”, Links Verlag, untranslated), claims to be able to provide proof that Olaf Scholz lied in this case. Was the Chancellor too close to the Warburg leaders? While he was mayor of Hamburg (from 2011 to 2018), the city’s financial services were not very picky when, from 2011, it was necessary to claim from the bank the sums evaded from the tax authorities within the framework of the “CumEx” operations “.
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