Dubious banking transactions “Unbelievable that the man is chancellor”

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Scholz, Almanya'nın Ukrayna'ya neden silah göndermediğini açıkladı

Richard Seelmaecker, CDU representative in the Hamburg investigative committee on the Cum-Ex scandal, accuses Olaf Scholz of lying. The Christian Democrat presents a motive as to why Hamburg handed over millions to Warburg Bank. His conclusion: “It all stinks to high heaven.”

Seelmaecker suspects that there was “the discreet hint” from Warburg Bank to Scholz that Cum-Ex transactions were also handled at HSH Nordbank. “And if the Hamburg tax authorities had demanded the money back from Warburg Bank at that time, they would have had to demand it from HSH as well. That would have meant that politicians would have had to openly admit to having earned millions with dubious deals.”

ntv.de: The CDU had requested that Chancellor Olaf Scholz not be questioned as a witness this Friday, but later, when the investigative committee has sifted through more documents. Why was that rejected?

Richard Seelmaecker: The SPD and the Greens want to end the investigation as quickly as possible because they realize that it is becoming more and more of a burden for Scholz. We are gradually receiving the results of the investigation from the Cologne public prosecutor’s office and we know even before the detailed evaluation that there is still a lot of explosive material for the chancellor.

What material is still to be processed?

E-mails and other correspondence, including from Scholz’s immediate environment. Apparently, not everything has been made available to the investigators by the Hamburg state government and administration. This can already be seen. There are considerable gaps in the data. But what we do know indicates that Scholz is not as clueless as he pretends to be.

You had already accused him of lying before the federal election. In your view, has the suspicion been substantiated?

Absolutely. Scholz gives the co-owners of the company, Christian Olearius and Max Warburg, an audience, talks to them on the phone, and they also know each other. Then, in a meeting, the bank’s very existence was at stake. The fact that Scholz doesn’t want to remember anything at all from the three personal meetings with Olearius, despite the explosive nature of the matter, is incredible. I maintain that Scholz is lying at this point. Especially since you can’t look at the talks individually.

But how?

We know of two notes in preparation for a decisive meeting with Olearius that are contradictory. One employee of the specialist authority wrote an unambiguous warning, which read as follows: Attention, fire danger, probably it should be about dubious Cum-Ex business. Another employee defused the content of the assessment and put it into perspective. Scholz wants to know neither the one nor the other assessment. That, too, is unbelievable. At the same time, the chancellor deceives the public with legal sophistry.

How so?

When asked if he ever met privately with the Warburgs, his answer is: “Mr. Olearius and Mr. Warburg were never at my house.” In this way, Mr. Scholz does not answer the question incorrectly. Nevertheless, he thereby conceals a private breakfast in Blankenese, which later became known. It was just not at his home. The statement was therefore correct and yet wrong. In terms of criminal law, he remains unassailable.

Isn’t that just extremely clever?

Of course he thinks so. But if you have nothing to hide, you can talk openly and don’t have to act in the way that Scholz has been doing for years with Cum-Ex. He only ever admits what can be proven to him. That creates suspicion and mistrust. Actually, it’s unbelievable that the man is chancellor. It all stinks to high heaven and cannot have happened without political influence.

But what was the motive for Hamburg to give 47 million euros to a bank?

I don’t believe that Scholz did the bankers a favor, possibly had private benefits from it, or that he was concerned about the donations paid for the SPD. I suspect that Olearius gave Scholz the subtle hint that the Cum-Ex transactions that Warburg Bank had undertaken on a small scale were going on at the Landesbank HSH Nordbank (now privatized – the ed.) on a large scale. And if the Hamburg tax authorities had demanded the money back from Warburg Bank at the time, they would also have had to demand it from HSH. That would have meant that politicians would have had to openly admit to having made millions from dubious deals. My guess is that Scholz wanted to prevent that. We will investigate the events.

So also what HSH did at the time?

Yes. The CDU has requested that the investigation be extended. There are clear indications that the tax authorities generously allowed other abusive share transactions by banks to go through during Scholz’s time in office. The former HSH Nordbank, which has paid 126 million euros in back taxes and interest for Cum-Ex transactions, has also profited from this.

The FDP member of parliament and financial expert Florian Toncar had called Olearius a “ticking time bomb for Scholz”. Do you share this assessment?

Absolutely. I firmly expect Olearius to be convicted. In the hope of a lenient sentence, he will testify in court. And then things will look bleak for Scholz. Toncar, by the way, was the one who called for clarification the loudest before the Bundestag elections. Now, in his capacity as Parliamentary State Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Finance, he could ensure that the minutes of Scholz’s statements to the Bundestag Finance Committee are released. Apparently, coalition discipline prevents him from doing so. But that also applies to the Greens.

What do you expect from Scholz as a witness on Friday?

That he finally comes clean and helps bring the truth to light.

How high is your hope that this will happen?

Close to zero.

Thomas Schmoll spoke with Richard Seelmaecker.

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Salih Demir

Salih Demir lives in Germany. He is interested in politics and economy. Germany editor of -ancient idea- fikrikadim.com