Nine months after the Wirecard scandal, the Bundestag’s parliamentary committee of inquiry this week concluded a series of very political hearings. Among the witnesses heard were Finance Minister Olaf Scholz and the German Chancellor in person. For nearly five hours on Friday, Angela Merkel responded in a relaxed manner to questions from a commission set up in October to shed light on the biggest financial scandal in the country’s history. In June, the German fintech, ex-star of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, specializing in online payment services, filed for bankruptcy after the disappearance of 1.9 billion euros from its accounts.
Why did Angela Merkel plead Wirecard’s cause during a trip to China in September 2019? Was she then aware of the suspicions of fraud that were already circulating? The Chancellor, dressed in a bright blue blazer, maintained her line of defense: “Despite all the press reports, there was no reason at the time to assume that there were serious irregularities at Wirecard” , she summed up.