The Union faction is urging Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) to be asked again in the Bundestag Finance Committee on how to deal with tax claims from cum-ex transactions against the Hamburg Warburg Bank.

This emerges from her letter to the committee chairman Alois Rainer (CSU), which is available to the FAZ.

Manfred Schäfers

Business correspondent in Berlin.

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As a reason, she cites contradictory statements by the SPD politician, on the one hand in the finance committee, on the other hand in the parliamentary investigative committee "Cum-ex tax money affair" of the Hamburg Parliament.

A comparison of the statements only became possible after the Bundestag minutes of July 1, 2020 had been "downgraded" (FAZ of December 21).

"The Chancellor is requested to be present," said the deputy chairman of the Union faction, Mathias Middelberg, who signed the "request to be set up".

It can be assumed that his parliamentary colleague Rainer, as committee chairman, will comply with this request and put the item on the agenda - but that does not mean that Scholz will again ask uncomfortable questions after his three meetings in his time as Hamburg's first mayor with the co-owners of the Warburg -Bank, Christian Olearius and Max Warburg.

Contacts from Scholz' time in Hamburg

The talks took place at a time when the financial institution wanted to avoid a high tax reclaim from the dubious share transactions around the dividend date.

Ultimately, the Hanseatic city actually wanted to forgo the reclaim.

At the end of 2017, she had to be persuaded by the Federal Ministry of Finance to collect the money with an unusual instruction in order to prevent the statute of limitations.

Since the traffic light in the Finance Committee has more members than the opposition, it can take things that are uncomfortable for the coalition off the agenda.

"At first, today's chancellor and then mayor of Hamburg did not want to remember a single meeting with bank boss Olearius," said CDU politician Middelberg of the FAZ the Warburg bank had gone.

"His statements about the content of the conversation to the Bundestag and to the investigative committee of the Hamburg Parliament differ significantly," emphasized the MP.

The Chancellor must provide information on this "rapid loss of memory", but also on other points such as the sorting of appointments for the committee of inquiry by his closest employees, Middelberg demanded.

In its letter to the committee chair, the Union faction argues that in the Scholz survey on July 1, 2020, the public only knew about a meeting with Olearius on November 10, 2017. “The mayor at the time could certainly remember the content of the conversation. "

The faint memory of the Chancellor

After the other meetings and the phone call became known, Scholz did not remember anything in the Bundestag in September 2020.

Not even in the Hamburg investigative committee.

The current Federal Minister for Family Affairs, Lisa Paus (Greens), is happily quoted with her finding from opposition times: "Scholz lied to the Bundestag - about his meetings with the Warburg Bank in the cum-ex fraud."

The CDU MP Matthias Hauer told the FAZ that in September the traffic light had rejected a questioning of Scholz with reference to the protocol, which was to be kept secret.

"This justification is now obsolete." Scholz had to explain "why he met several times in person with criminal bankers who had cheated taxpayers out of millions with cum-ex tax tricks and who were already in the public prosecutor's sights at the time of the meeting." .

It's about the credibility of the Chancellor.

The Union faction also sees the Bundestag on the train because the tax reclaims in question were about the application of federal law and the question of why Hamburg was the only federal state in 2016 to want the reimbursement of cum-ex funds to become statute-barred.

"In addition, it is about Olaf Scholz's relevant contacts with the then SPD MP Johannes Kahrs, who was lobbying for the Warburg-Bank, with whom investigating authorities recently found more than 200,000 euros in cash in a locker belonging to him," the letter says.