German chief investigator in financial scandal throws in the towel
German chief investigator in financial scandal throws in the towel

23 April 2024 – The chief investigator in one of Germany’s biggest financial scandals has thrown in the towel, disillusioned. Reason: unwillingness to clarify the situation in German politics. Is the same now threatening to happen in Brussels with the current EU Commission President? And industrial metals are facing growing demand that may no longer be able to be fully met.

Industrial metals encounter growing demand

According to a recent analysis by Deutsche Bank, good early economic indicators for industrial metals from the United States and China are proving to be positive and robust. The recent increase in demand for aluminium, nickel and copper, for example, but also the shortage of supply, as can be seen from the 17-year low in Indonesian tin exports, further support this analysis in our view.

Fast growing energy demand

The energy sector in western industrialised nations in particular is likely to continue to provide significant impetus in the medium term. The United States alone will have to compensate for rising energy demand of more than 200 TWh in the coming years.

German chief investigator in financial scandal resigns

The fact that German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is actually one of the main culprits in two of the biggest financial scandals in German economic history is often forgotten or there are gaps in memory. At least in the case of the Federal Chancellor, there are considerable ones.

Not only was Olaf Scholz Lord Mayor of Hamburg when the tax fraud in the cum-ex cases became known, he was also the German Federal Minister of Finance when the payment service provider Wirecard had to file for insolvency, leaving behind a multi-billion loss.

Since then, Wirecard’s management has had to face one of the most complex legal proceedings in German history. The auditors from EY, who were jointly responsible and who had given Wirecard clean work and good marks for years, have already been sentenced for their failure.

Memory lapses as a panacea for German politicians

But as in the cum-ex scandal, so too in the Wirecard financial crime: Olaf Scholz was allowed to fall back on his poor memory and was rewarded for his failures as Mayor of Hamburg and as Federal Finance Minister under Angela Merkel with an election as Federal Chancellor.

This may well have been one of the reasons why the chief investigator in the cum-ex case resigned as a public prosecutor and looked for a new job: the unwillingness of politicians to really want to clean up their self-inflicted big brown pile.

Still EU Commission President also likes to forget

But German politicians are good at memory lapses. You only have to look at the top levels of the European Commission in Brussels and at Ursula von der Leyen, who is still President of the Commission, and her many scandals and affairs. And the fact that she has experience in not remembering and also likes to delete mobile phone data, as was recently the case in the coronavirus vaccine procurement scandal, is nothing new.

She already had this done once in 2019 when it came to her communication in the German Armed Forces’ counselling scandal. Even her protégé Björn Seibert, who was also exported to Brussels, could no longer remember anything.

Get democratically elected? Better not!

Ms von der Leyen, who does not even dare to face a democratic vote of the European electorate and only wants to be elected directly by the EU Parliament for a second term, should, with all her scandals and her opportunistic power-hungry behaviour, give a preview of what a second term with her as EU Commission President might mean.

Namely, that her dirt will continue to be swept under the carpet and investigations blocked until the responsible investigators from the EU public prosecutor’s office finally resign in frustration. The image that the EU is increasingly degenerating into an autocratic kleptocracy is only likely to be fuelled by Ms von der Leyen’s re-election. It’s time for something to change urgently!

Her popularity is already dwindling dramatically. Even within the ranks of her own party, people are not happy with the Queen of Brussels. In Germany, people are so unhappy with her that the CDU no longer even wants to print her on its election posters for the European elections.

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