Wirecard: Chancellery campaigned for market entry in China
Chancellor was consulted
Wirecard: Chancellery advocated market entry in China
07/18/2020, 1:56 p.m. | AFP
Angela Merkel and Olaf Scholz: Politics is the focus of the Wirecard insolvency. (Source: photohek / imago images)
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In the Wirecard scandal, politics is moving ever more into focus: After criticism of Finance Minister Scholz, it has now become known that the Chancellery has supported the company in entering the Chinese market.
In the Wirecard scandal, the role of politics is increasingly coming into focus. In autumn last year, the Federal Chancellery advocated the payment service provider and its then planned entry into the Chinese market, as a government spokeswoman confirmed to the AFP news agency on Saturday. At the same time, there is sharp criticism from the CSU of Federal Finance Minister Olaf Scholz and his role in the scandal.
Wirecard was discussed in the Federal Chancellery last autumn shortly before Chancellor Angela Merkel was on a trip to China. Former Defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, who campaigned for Wirecard, spoke to Merkel on September 3, 2019, according to the government spokeswoman. Then he sent an email to Merkel’s economic advisor Lars-Hendrik Röller in which he "informed about the intended market entry of Wirecard in China, enclosing brief information and asked for support as part of the China trip" have.
Guttenberg advised Wirecard on expansion
The trip took place on September 6th and 7th, 2019. On September 8th, Röller replied according to Guttenberg by email and communicated, "that the topic was raised during the visit to China". He also got "further support promised", said the government spokeswoman. First of all, the "mirror" reported.
Guttenberg advised Wirecard on its expansion into China with his investment and consulting firm Spitzberg Partners. Almost two months after his exchange with the Chancellery, Wirecard announced that it would acquire shares in the Chinese company AllScore Payment Services.
Wirecard filed for bankruptcy at the end of June this year after the company had to admit that it was unable to find cash of 1.9 billion euros on its balance sheet, which were allegedly in Asian bank accounts. The Munich I public prosecutor’s office is investigating the case. Among other things, it is about the suspicion of market manipulation.
Strong criticism of Olaf Scholz
The financial supervisory authority Bafin and Federal Finance Minister Olaf Scholz are also criticized for Wirecard. According to his ministry, he had already been informed on February 19, 2019 that the Bafin was investigating Wirecard for market manipulation.
Carry Scholz "of course, overall responsibility for how the scandal was handled in his area of responsibility", said the Union chairman in the finance committee, Hans Michelbach, the "Passauer Neue Presse" from Saturday. "If he had reacted to early information, the great damage for many investors could have been avoided."
Walter-Borjans calls for financial control reform
Michelbach announced a special meeting of the finance committee on the subject. "The first thing that is needed now is full and unreserved clarification from the finance minister and the Bafin", he told the newspaper.
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As a consequence of the scandal, SPD leader Norbert Walter-Borjans called for a fundamental reform of financial control. The Wirecard case is "not the first occasion to reveal weaknesses to financial regulators", he told the newspapers of the Funke media group on Saturday. "The supervisory authority must be able to keep pace with developments. It has to become more powerful and innovative and act up to date", demanded Walter-Borjans. For it "a general reform" required.
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