Following support from the liberal FDP, the leftist Die Linke, and the far-right AfD, the Greens have now stated that they want to launch a committee of inquiry to investigate the Wirecard affair, a scandal that has made its way into the highest levels of the German government.
Together, the Greens, FDP, and Die Linke have a combined 216 MPs, more than the 178 necessary to start a Bundestag investigation without relying on the AfD.
It was initially Germany’s financial watchdog agencies that had come under fire after €1.9 billion went missing from the company’s balance sheets seemingly without setting off alarm bells.
Then, further reporting showed that the German government, including Chancellor Angela Merkel herself, had lobbied for the company, even after Finance Minister Olaf Scholz’s (SPD) ministry had been notified of irregularities in the company’s reporting.
Politicians called a special session of the Bundestag’s Finance Committee to question Scholz and Economy Minister Peter Altmaier (CDU) about their ministries’ failures in conducting oversight of the company in late July. A committee of inquiry can call witnesses and experts, as well as inspect relevant files.
Green speaker for Finance Lisa Paus explained the parties support for the committee tweeting, “the German government has stonewalled to the end and we need further instruments to clear up the Wirecard scandal.”
MP and Vice-Chair for Die Linke Fabio de Masi believes that a committee of inquiry will be beneficial to creating longer lasting change, saying “we need the pressure of a committee of inquiry […] because public pressure is then created so that we can reorganise financial supervision in Germany.” (Sarah Lawton | EURACTIV.de)