The MV Climate Foundation, which was founded with the significant participation of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania's Prime Minister Manuela Schwesig (SPD), continues to offer political explosives. On Wednesday, at the request of the CDU/CSU, the Bundestag will deal with the role of the Schwerin government in the completion of the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline in the Baltic Sea.
At Schwesig's express request, the controversial foundation was set up in early 2021 to complete the gas pipeline while circumventing threatened US sanctions. The Gazprom subsidiary Nord Stream 2 paid 20 million euros into the MV Climate and Environmental Protection Foundation and financed economic activities under the umbrella of the foundation with at least 165 million euros.
The topic is no longer purely national
"We have extremely dubious processes here. They have to be clarified," said the first parliamentary manager of the Union faction, Thorsten Frei, the application for the current hour on the subject. The situation "really breathes the spirit of a banana republic". A dimension has been reached that is no longer purely political, said the CDU MP. It's about "that a criminal foundation was founded here with the participation of politicians in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, which had the goal of openly avoiding sanctions under false pretenses," said CSU regional group leader Alexander Dobrindt.
In Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, too, the debate about the foundation and the role of the state government led by Schwesig continued. Finance Minister Heiko Geue (SPD) made his first comprehensive statement about the destruction of tax files from the controversial Climate Foundation. He again denied any influence of his ministry on the tax case. The tax office in Ribnitz-Damgarten made the decision to demand 9.8 million euros in gift tax from the foundation. "The tax office did it and of course exchanged technical information in this difficult tax case as part of the technical supervision, but without political pressure," said Geue in Schwerin.
Foundation tax records burned
Discussions about the controversial foundation flared up again last week after it became known that an official from the Ribnitz-Damgarten tax office had burned the foundation's tax files. Geue had previously refused to provide more information on the case, citing tax secrecy. Surprisingly, however, the foundation's board of directors released the state government "completely and without restrictions" from tax secrecy. However, Geue's statements afterwards did not bring any knowledge that went significantly beyond what was already known.
According to him, the foundation's tax return was initially submitted to the non-responsible tax office in Rostock and later incorrectly filed in the responsible tax office in Ribnitz-Damgarten. In mid-April, the tax department of his company requested a report on the whereabouts of the files. Two weeks later, the officer admitted to her superior that the files had been destroyed. According to Geue, the missing files were requested again and the tax assessment was issued on the basis of them. The foundation then appealed to the tax court, saying that the decision on this was pending.
The opposition in the state parliament accuses the state government of only providing information about the case with a great deal of delay and incompletely. In a special meeting of the finance and legal committee, Geue is now to provide detailed information this Friday.