Hamburg Chancellor’s Office Minister Wolfgang Schmidt and the office manager of Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) are to be in the parliamentary committee of inquiry Hamburg citizenship testify to the “Cum-Ex” scandal.
The panel unanimously decided on Friday to summon the two as witnesses for the September 30 session.
Schmidt is considered to be Chancellor Scholz’s closest confidant, and has been by his side for around 20 years.
Before moving to the Chancellery, Schmidt was, among other things, Scholz’s office manager in the Willy-Brandt-Haus and in the Ministry of Labor. When Scholz was Minister of Finance, Schmidt was State Secretary.
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Scholz’s office manager is also considered a close confidant of the chancellor. According to media reports, the public prosecutor’s office in Cologne confiscated their property Investigations against the Hamburg Warburg Bank on April 21st her e-mail inbox.
The Hamburg investigative committee wants the accusation of a possible influence leading SPD– Clarify politicians on the tax treatment of the Hamburg Warburg Bank.
Scholz rejected influence
Scholz also rejected any influence as mayor of Hamburg during his second interrogation as a witness in mid-August, but said at the same time on most of the committee’s questions, that he couldn’t remember. His successor, then Finance Senator Peter Tschentscher (SPD), also rejects any influence.
The background to the committee is that the Hamburg tax authorities issued a tax refund after the meeting between the then mayor Scholz and the bank shareholders Christian Olearius and Max Warburg in 2016 of 47 million euros against the bank initially statute-barred.
A year later, she only raised a claim for repayment of 43 million euros under pressure from the Federal Ministry of Finance shortly before the statute of limitations began.
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.