Friday, September 30

A banking scandal splashes German Chancellor Olaf Scholz

A banking scandal linked to his past as mayor of hamburg of the German chancellor, Olaf Scholz, threatens to put him in trouble, according to several German media reported on Wednesday, including the weekly “Der Spiegel”.

At the center of the controversy is the finding of €214,000 in cash in a safe owned by Johannes Kahrs, a former Social Democratic Party (SPD) deputy who ran a local Hamburg group in 2016, when his co-religionist Scholz was mayor.

According to German media, the cash could be linked to the bank scandal Warburgwhich a committee of the local Parliament of Hamburg has been investigating for more than two years and in which the role of the now chancellor is still to be clarified.

In 2016 the financial authorities of the port city renounced the return of €47 million that said bank had obtained through irregular transactions, after a series of meetings between directors of the institution and senior officials of the SPD.

Scholz, for his part, denies influencingas mayor, the decision of the financial authorities and declares that he does not remember much of the content of the conversations he had then.

In accordance with “Der Spiegel”there is at the moment no proof that the money found in the safe is related to the Warburg bank scandal.

However, it highlights that according to what has come to light, the financial institution donated at least €45,500 to the Hamburg SPD, mainly to the group directed by Kahrs, and partly through subsidiaries of the bank and associated companies.

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According to notes in the diary of the owner of the bank, Christian Olearius, it was Kahrs who mediated in 2016 and 2017 when organizing his meetings with the then mayor of Hamburg and now chancellor.

Kahrs himself has not yet commented on the source of cashwhile a government spokesman said this week that Scholz had no knowledge of its existence.

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Other media reported this week that the prosecutor’s office Cologne (west), which collaborates in the clarification of the “cum ex” case, ordered in March this year the inspection of Scholz’s email account from his time as first mayor.

It is expected that the next August 19 the chancellor testifies for the second time before the commission of investigation of the local Parliament of Hamburg.

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