Angela Merkel defends lobbying for disgraced Wirecard
Ben Knight, 23 April 2021
The German chancellor has appeared at a parliamentary inquiry to defend her decision to lobby on behalf of the disgraced banking firm Wirecard in China. The scandal is one of Germany’s biggest ever fraud cases.
Chancellor Angela Merkel has told the German Bundestag that there was no reason to believe that Wirecard was committing fraud in 2019, when she lobbied on behalf of the now insolvent Bavarian company during an official trip to China.
“Despite the press reports, there was no reason to assume there were serious irregularities at Wirecard at the time,” she told a parliamentary inquiry during a hearing on Friday. Continue reading “Article: Angela Merkel defends lobbying for disgraced Wirecard”
The Weird, Extremely German Origins of the Wirecard Scandal
Adrian Daub, 21 April 2021
German scandals are not like other scandals. The bouquet of a classic German scandal contains unmistakable notes: a rabbit-hole impenetrability, the implication of an entire guilt-ridden society, and, most importantly, a sense that the controversy says something essential about Germany as a whole. German scandals are collectivized. They are about a belief in German difference, for good or ill.
The rise and fall of the financial services giant Wirecard is such a scandal. Wirecard, whose products facilitated e-commerce payment transactions, was the rare German startup that seemed primed to become a “global player”—a phrase with special resonance in a country that, despite all evidence to the contrary, still perceives itself as being small-time. The company was founded in 1999, survived the dotcom-bubble, began a massive expansion into Asia in the middle of the financial crisis, and, later, began another expansion into the Middle East. Continue reading “Article: The Weird, Extremely German Origins of the Wirecard Scandal”