Now it’s getting tough for Olaf Scholz in the election campaign: The opposition and the coalition partners take off their bandages and attack the SPD candidate for chancellor head-on: FDP, Greens and Left want to quote the finance minister six days before the election before the finance committee! The CDU and CSU are also pulling along!
But according to BILD information, the SPD, the Ministry of Finance and Scholz are defending themselves against it. Scholz did not want to appear in person, BILD learned in the afternoon from the meeting of the representatives of the parliamentary groups for the finance committee. At a digital meeting of the heads of the finance committee today, three Scholz state secretaries were connected to the ministerial defense.
► A participant on BILD: “There is a massive defensive battle going on. Apparently, the aim is to prevent the SPD’s candidate for chancellor from having to appear in public for a hearing in a thunderstorm of flashlights. He can’t use the pictures a few days before the election. “
According to current plans, Scholz is on an election campaign tour in Baden-Württemberg on Monday (12 p.m. Tübingen, 3 p.m. Esslingen).
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Florian Toncar, finance expert of the FDP parliamentary group on BILD: “In view of the dispute over the Scholz protocols on the Cum-Ex scandal, the search in his ministry, which he has massively criticized, and now also the investigations against one of his State secretaries can probably be expected that the minister will appear in person before the competent committee of the Bundestag! “
Green finance expert Lisa Paus (52) on BILD: “When a minister is questioned, the minister should also be present – in person, on site. Olaf Scholz doesn’t do anything better when he tries to hide behind his screen. “
If Scholz does not come voluntarily, this will be forced, the FDP and the Greens told BILD.
►CDU financial expert Christoph de Vries urges BILD that “Scholz finally speaks Tacheles and clears his memory jam”.
► CSU financial expert Hans Michelbach has announced that he will vote for it. Michelbach to BILD: “It’s about our duty to control the government and the finance minister.” It is important to investigate whether there is a “further serious financial scandal in the area of responsibility of the Dax group, in addition to Cum-Ex (illegal tax refunds) and Wirecard (bankruptcy of billions of euros) Federal Minister of Finance there “.
All factions – except the SPD – come across that Scholz tried to downplay the search in his ministry at the end of the previous week. He and his team tried to give the impression that there was a political intrigue against him. CSU veteran Michelbach: “That is unacceptable. If Scholz also accuses the judiciary of unfair motives, he is deliberately undermining the judiciary’s reputation as an independent third pillar of our constitutional state. “
On Monday, the committee should also finally decide whether the third Scholz minutes on the Cum-Ex scandal will be published. Today the ministry offered to blacken passages that are sensitive to tax law. But this could take time. Even if the committee decided to do so on Monday, the regular process of deconclusion and reconciliation of the redactions would take several days. It is therefore unlikely that the third Scholz protocol can be published before the federal election.
► The secret protocol, which is kept in the secret protection office of the Bundestag, is one of three transcripts from Scholz hearings on the cum-ex scandal last year in the finance committee. It is about multi-million dollar tax rebates for the Hamburg private bank Warburg by the Hamburg authorities under the then Hamburg Mayor Scholz.
The suspicion: As Mayor of Hamburg, Scholz is said to have provided the bank with a tax refund of 47 million euros in 2016. Scholz explains: There have been various meetings with Warburg boss Christian Olearius (79). He did not cause the tax deal to have nothing to do with the controversial gift of millions to the private bankers.
Above all, the minutes of July 1, 2020 are now to be released – after months of dispute with Scholz’s Ministry (BMF). In it, Scholz names specific tax refunds from his Hamburg tax authorities to the Warburg Bank – a total of 180 million euros.
The publication of the third, secret Scholz Protocol could be one thing above all for the SPD candidate for Chancellor: EMBARISHING. Because even the other two transcripts (available from BILD) reveal astonishing gaps in the memory of the SPD man about his meetings with the cum-ex bankers.
► Also in the secret protocol (19 pages) about Scholz’s statement on July 1, 2020, the Vice Chancellor shines above all with ignorance. According to those familiar with the protocols, Scholz should hardly have any memory when it comes to two direct instructions from the then Federal Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble (78, CDU).
In it, Schäuble asked the Scholz Senate at the end of 2017 to stop any further tax refunds to the Warburg Bank. Initially, an instruction was issued at the beginning of November. Because the Scholz Senate did not comply, a second was issued at the beginning of December.
According to the minutes, this was not implemented immediately either. “There was another, inexplicable, delay of days,” a person familiar with the matter told BILD. At that time, Schäuble urgently wanted to prevent further payments from the Scholz Senate to the private bank in the Cum-Ex affair.