CDU General Secretary Mario Czaja has accused Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania's Prime Minister Manuela Schwesig (SPD) of a lack of clarification about the controversial Climate Foundation MV. "It's still only cover-up, tricks, deception from Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania," said Czaja on Monday on RTL / ntv Frühstart.
"We're still seeing a game of hide-and-seek there," said Czaja. Schwesig claims that she knew nothing about the foundation's burned tax files, even though Finance Minister Heiko Geue (SPD) is her closest confidant. He was also a confidant of former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder (SPD). "That's a very clear connection to Russia, which is now being gradually uncovered there."
In the ZDF program “Berlin direct”, Schwesig recently said again that she knew nothing about the burning of the tax file by a tax office employee in spring 2022. She said she only found out about it last week. She saw an article about this online one evening last week and then called her finance minister, the 48-year-old said on Sunday evening on the ARD program “Report from Berlin”. She then asked him for clarification. "And I can once again confirm what the Minister of Finance said and also the Minister of Justice - that neither of them informed me about it," added Schwesig. She also thinks that is correct. Because a Prime Minister should not interfere in tax and public prosecutor matters. "And that's none of your business either." A gift tax was also "never spoken of," said Schwesig again.
The file was important for the determination of the Ribnitz-Damgarten tax office by 9.8 million euros gift tax. This is to pay the foundation for the 20 million euros that it received from the Gazprom subsidiary Nord Stream 2 AG.
The foundation, on the other hand, went before the tax court. The donation was intended exclusively for the non-profit part of the foundation, climate protection, and was therefore not subject to gift tax, she argues. There was also a business operation intended to circumvent US sanctions against companies involved in the construction of the natural gas pipeline. A decision by the court is still pending.
On Tuesday, the board of directors of the foundation, Erwin Sellering (SPD), wants to speak at a press conference in Schwerin about the state of affairs around the climate foundation. Schwesig's predecessor at the head of the state government had announced that the board would resign as soon as business operations had been completed and the auditors had issued a certificate.
Schwesig played a key role in setting up the foundation in 2021. After Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022, she distanced herself from it and has since endeavored to have the foundation dissolved. According to foundation law, however, this is not easily possible.
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