Germany: Govt spox. defends Merkel's lobbying for Wirecard during China visit

A government spokesperson defended German Chancellor Angela Merkel's promotion of scandal-hit fintech company Wirecard at a press conference in Berlin on Monday. Responding to a question about Merkel's lobbying for the company on a visit to China in September 2019, spokesperson Ulrike Demmer said it was a «completely normal procedure.» Demmer stated that the Finance Ministry was informed of the €1.9 billion ($2.1 billion) hole in the company's accounts on June 26 with the Chancellery being informed on June 30. Merkel was however reportedly warned that Germany's financial regulator, the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin), was investigating the company for market manipulation before she went to China. Finance ministry spokesperson Dennis Kolberg confirmed that «On August 23rd 2019 an enquiry was made by the chancellery, which was answered via email and several pieces of information about Wirecard were shared.'' Foreign Ministry spokesperson Christofer Burger also spoke about Turkey saying that the country needs to comply with international law and refrain from «provocations in the eastern Mediterranean Sea.» Wirecard was assigned a court-appointed insolvency administrator at the end of June after it was uncovered that €1.9 billion ($2.1 billion), that had been reported as cash, did not exist in company accounts and is believed to have never existed at all. Top executives at the company, including its former CEO Markus Braun have been arrested on charges of false accounting and market manipulation for their role in allegedly artificially inflating the company's balance sheets.

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