BUndescancer Olaf Scholz (SPD) is to testify a second time in August before the Parliamentary Investigation Committee (PUA) of the Hamburg Parliament on the “Cum-Ex” scandal. The interrogation is expected to take place on August 19, said committee secretary and CDU chairman Richard Seelmaecker on Friday of the German Press Agency.
Corresponding agreements would now be made between the PUA task force and the Chancellery. Scholz had already testified in April last year. The committee is to clarify possible influence of leading SPD politicians on tax decisions at the Warburg Bank, which was involved in the “Cum-Ex” scandal.
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. Olearius was already being investigated at the time on suspicion of serious tax evasion. After the first meeting, the tax office for large companies initially waived additional tax claims of 47 million euros when the statute of limitations expired in 2016. A further 43 million euros were only requested in 2017 after the intervention of the Federal Ministry of Finance.
Scholz had stated that he could not remember the meeting, but categorically ruled out any political influence. In “cum-ex” transactions, financial players shifted blocks of shares with (“cum”) and without (“ex”) dividend entitlement around the dividend date in a complicated system and then had taxes reimbursed multiple times. In July 2021, the Federal Court of Justice made it clear that this was not just a question of exploiting a legal loophole, but a criminal offense.