BERLIN, September 15 (Hfrance.fr) - German lawmakers will question Finance Minister Olaf Scholz on alleged breaches of the government anti-money laundering agency next Monday, just days before a federal election his party is expected to win.
Scholz to answer questions at a special meeting of the Finance Committee of the Lower House of Parliament on September 20 although it is not clear whether he will participate in person or remotely via liaison video, lawmakers said on Wednesday.
Opinion polls suggest Scholz has a good chance of becoming chancellor in the September 26 vote, in replacement of Angela Merkel who retires after 16 years at the head of Europe 's largest economy.
Armin Laschet, the principalpal candidate for the center-right CDU / CSU bloc, has so far failed to translate Merkel's high approval rates into continued support for their party, with all polls seeing Schol's SPD z is comfortably in the lead.
Prosecutors raided the finance ministry in Berlin last Thursday as part of an investigation into why agency officials Cologne-based anti-money laundering CRF did not follow up on some leads, highlighting Germany 's failures in the fight against financial crime.
The time of the raid - less thanthree weeks before the election - fueled speculation about political motivation.
The Ministry of Finance oversees the FIU, although the agency is independent from political influence in his day-to-day decisions.
Scholz himself tried to put an end to the raid, saying prosecutors could also have asked information in written form and that everyone could draw their own conclusion as to why there had been a decision to search for the Ministry of Finance.
This prompted Laschet to ask Scholz for an apology for criticizing the prosecutor's decision. Laschet also accused his political rival of undermining the rule of law and aiding populists. learn more Report by Holger Hansen and Michael Nienaber; Editing by Toby Chopra
Our standards: Thomson Hfrance.fr's principles of trust.