Germany's Scholz questioned over handling of tax scam
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz appeared Friday before a parliamentary panel in the northern state of Hamburg to answer lawmakers' questions about his handling of a tax evasion scam when he was mayor of the city.
Political opponents have called on Scholz to provide more information about meetings he had in 2016 and 2017 with private bank M.M. Warburg that faced demands to repay millions of euros in tax refunds it had wrongly claimed for share trades.
Scholz, who became federal finance minister in 2018, has previously stated that he doesn't remember details of the meetings, but denies that he intervened to get Hamburg officials to drop their demand for Warburg to repay 47 million euros.
Opposition leader Friedrich Merz of the center-right Christian Democrats said he didn't believe Scholz's memory lapses.
“When you're talking about a tax demand in the three-figure millions concerning such a big bank in your own city, then you don't forget what was said during the conversation,” Merz told German business daily Handelsblatt in an interview published Friday.
Dozens of bankers are being investigated in connection with so-called cum-ex share transactions that are said to have cost the German state billions of euros.