Berlin, Aug 12 (IANS): German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has denied exerting political influence over a bank, in a probe concerning the largest tax scandal in the country's history.
The government is thought to have lost some 30 billion euros ($31 billion) in the so-called cum-ex scandal involving the shifting of shares back and forth for refunds that were not always due, reports dpa news agency.
It was long unclear whether the financial manoeuvring was legal or not but a slew of cases are in the works as the tax authorities try to claw back some of the cash.
The Hamburg-based Warburg Bank has also come under scrutiny and a committee in the northern city is investigating whether lawmakers in Hamburg may have influenced decisions concerning taxes, at a time when Scholz was the city's mayor.
Scholz said he was confident that the state acted properly in collecting taxes, referring to the so-called cum-ex deals in which shares with (cum) and without (ex) dividend entitlements were shifted back and forth around the dividend payment date.
In the confusion about who owned the shares when the dividend was due, tax offices refunded taxes that had actually not been paid at all.
"There are no findings that there was any political influence," Scholz said in comments that come a week before he is due to be questioned on the issue.
"I am sure that this finding will not be changed."