German lawmakers unlikely to ask Scholz about handling tax evasion case -Source

BERLIN (Reuters) – German lawmakers are not expected to summon Chancellor Olaf Scholz to testify about his role as Hamburg mayor in fighting a multibillion-euro tax evasion case after he testified before a regional committee, a parliamentary source said on Tuesday.

“After the last questioning before the Investigative Committee in Hamburg, no further information can be expected from further questioning,” the source, a member of the Bundestag’s finance committee, told Reuters.

The speaker of Germany’s lower house of parliament previously approved a request by the opposition CDU/CSU conservatives to convene a special session of the finance committee to question Scholz on the case.

A final decision on the matter is due on Wednesday.

A toasting by Hamburg lawmakers of Scholz over his handling of the tax evasion case when he was the city’s mayor ended in a stalemate earlier this month.

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The Social Democrat chancellor denied any wrongdoing and opposition lawmakers accused him of obscuring the truth.

“The Chancellor must finally admit his role in the tax affair,” said Thorsten Frei, CDU/CSU parliamentary secretary, quoted by the Rheinische Post newspaper.

Prosecutors said the fraud involved dividend stripping in which banks and investors quickly traded shares of companies around their dividend payout day, blurring shareholding and allowing multiple parties to wrongly claim dividends. dividend tax refunds.

The loophole, now closed, took on a political dimension in the northern port of Hamburg due to the slowness of the authorities in 2016 when Scholz was mayor in demanding the reimbursement of the millions of euros earned in the scheme by the local bank. Warburg.

(Reporting by Holger Hansen; Writing by Riham Alkousaa; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

Copyright 2022 Thomson Reuters.

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