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German lawmakers to grill Scholz over anti-money laundering probe days earlier than election By Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: German Finance Minister and Social Democratic Celebration (SPD) candidate Olaf Scholz earlier than a televised debate of the candidates to succeed Angela Merkel as German chancellor in Berlin,?Germany, September 12, 2021. Chairwoman of Buendnis 90/Die Gru

BERLIN (Reuters) – German lawmakers will query Finance Minister Olaf Scholz over suspected failings on the authorities anti-money laundering company subsequent Monday, solely days earlier than a federal election which his occasion is projected to win.

Scholz will reply questions at a particular assembly of the decrease home of parliament’s finance committee on Sept. 20, although it’s unclear if he’ll participate in individual or be a part of remotely by way of video hyperlink, lawmakers stated on Wednesday.

Opinion polls counsel Scholz has an excellent probability of turning into chancellor within the Sept. 26 vote, changing Angela Merkel who’s standing down after 16 years on the helm of Europe’s largest financial system.

Armin Laschet, the highest candidate of the centre-right CDU/CSU bloc, to this point has didn’t translate Merkel’s excessive approval scores into continued help for his or her occasion, with all polls seeing Scholz’s SPD comfortably within the lead.

Prosecutors raided the finance ministry in Berlin final Thursday as a part of an investigation into why officers on the Cologne-based anti-money laundering company FIU didn’t comply with up on sure leads, placing a highlight on Germany’s failings in tackling monetary crime.

The finance ministry has stated the investigation is concentrated on nonetheless unknown suspects on the FIU in Cologne and never on members of the ministry itself, including that the raid’s purpose was to assemble details about sure choices of FIU officers.

The timing of the raid – lower than three weeks earlier than the election – has fuelled hypothesis a few political motivation.

The finance ministry oversees the FIU, although the company is unbiased from political affect in its every day choices.

Scholz himself has tried to minimize the raid, saying prosecutors may even have requested the knowledge in written kind and that everyone may draw their very own conclusion about why there was a choice to go looking the finance ministry.

This has prompted Laschet to demand an apology from Scholz for criticising the prosecutor’s determination. Laschet additionally accused his political rival of undermining the rule of legislation and serving to populists.

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