Germany: German lawmakers to grill Scholz over anti-money laundering probe days before election

German lawmakers will question Finance Minister Olaf Scholz over suspected failings at the government anti-money laundering agency next Monday, only days before a federal election which his party is projected to win.

Scholz will answer questions at a special meeting of the lower house of parliament’s finance committee on Sept. 20, though it is unclear if he will take part in person or join remotely via video link, lawmakers said on Wednesday.

Opinion polls suggest Scholz has a good chance of becoming chancellor in the Sept. 26 vote, replacing Angela Merkel who is standing down after 16 years at the helm of Europe’s largest economy.

Armin Laschet, the top candidate of the centre-right CDU/CSU bloc, so far has failed to translate Merkel’s high approval ratings into continued support for their party, with all polls seeing Scholz’s SPD comfortably in the lead.

Prosecutors raided the finance ministry in Berlin last Thursday as part of an investigation into why officials at the Cologne-based anti-money laundering agency FIU did not follow up on certain leads, putting a spotlight on Germany’s failings in tackling financial crime.

The original full article can be found at reuters.com

(Photo: Michael Kappeler/Pool via REUTERS)

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