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World Opposition sees itself confirmed by EU criticism: "The Wirecard case is a Causa Olaf Scholz"

17:15  03 november  2020
17:15  03 november  2020 Source:   tagesspiegel.de

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The EU financial authority Esma reprimands the German financial regulator. Opposition politicians are also targeting the SPD finance minister.

Kritik auch von EU-Seite: Bundesfinanzminister Olaf Scholz (SPD). © Photo: Kay Nietfeld / dpa Criticism also from the EU side: Federal Finance Minister Olaf Scholz (SPD).

The opposition in the Bundestag sees its accusation confirmed at the European level that the German financial supervisory authority and the Federal Ministry of Finance have made massive mistakes in the Wirecard case. The EU financial market authority Esma published a report on Tuesday, in which the shortcomings and failures of both the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (Bafin) and the ministry are mentioned.

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It is criticized that the cooperation between the Bafin and the German Audit Office for Accounting (DPR) commissioned by it did not work out. According to the report, the two bodies did not have the same understanding of the role and possibilities of the two institutions.

In addition, Esma sees indications of "an increased risk of influence" by the Ministry of Finance on Bafin. This is evidenced by the many contacts between the two bodies during the review of Wirecard's balance sheets since 2018. A third key point is Esma's lack of understanding of the fact that Bafin employees also during the review phase, when allegations of manipulation against the financial service provider were already circulating in public Wirecard shares would have traded.

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Financial politicians of the opposition parties are now intensifying their criticism in view of the EU report. The FDP politician Florian Toncar told the Tagesspiegel: “It is definitely clear that Wirecard is a cause of Olaf Scholz.”


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It is a protective assertion by Federal Minister of Finance that nothing could be done at Wirecard during ongoing audits by the FREP. Toncar accuses the ministry of even having "massively involved". "This also confirms the suspicion that Wirecard enjoyed political protection."

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The left-wing MP Fabio De Masi also sees himself confirmed. The Esma report was "a slap in the face" for the Bafin. There was an urgent need for a reform of financial supervision "so that it had teeth". The political influence of the finance ministry on financial supervision had to be restricted.

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"System cannot work"

Also The Green politician Sven Giegold, a member of the European Parliament, called for a reform of German financial supervision. The Esma report "relentlessly" reveals that the German system of joint accounting control by the BaFin and the FREP cannot work If the authorities thwart effective communication and they sometimes disagree on their respective roles, it is made too easy for fraudsters. "The responsibility chaos must come to an end.

Scholz reacted defensively and said that the improvements proposed by Esma corresponded to the government's known plans . “So I don't see that as something critical.” Baf too in and the FREP rejected allegations. An committee of inquiry of the Bundestag on the Wirecard affair started the first hearings last week and will continue its work this Thursday.

Bafin and DPR are responsible for auditing the balance sheet in a two-stage process. Esma's task is to propose guidelines for an EU-wide harmonization of balance sheet control and to monitor compliance with them. is to be harmonized across Europe and regularly reviews its implementation in so-called peer reviews. The EU Commission could use deficits in German supervision as an opportunity to enforce greater standardization from Brussels.

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