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German watchdog investigates payments company Wirecard Investigation

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German watchdog investigates payments company Wirecard Investigation

Germany’s financial watchdog, BaFin, said on Tuesday it was conducting multiple investigations into Wirecard, sending its shares lower and adding to pressure over allegations it has denied.


At 1309 GMT, Wirecard’s shares were 3.3 per cent lower, making them the biggest faller on the German blue-chip index.

They had risen on Monday following news it had reshuffled its management board and appointed a new compliance officer.

Wirecard has denied allegations including accounting irregularities and disclosure violations.

It said in a statement on Tuesday it was in regular contact with BaFin and fully supports requests for information.

“Wirecard is convinced that it has complied with all information obligations,’’ it said.

BaFin officials said they were looking at Wirecard’s reliability as the owner of Wirecard Bank, as well as at communication with investors ahead of the publication of a critical audit by KPMG.

BaFin President, Felix Hufeld, speaking by phone to journalists, declined to spell out the nature of each line of inquiry but said there had been multiple investigations.

“Of course, we are looking very closely at Wirecard,’’ Hufeld said.

“This is self-evident.’’

AIB

Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)

Babatunde Abdulfatah: is a graduate and a professionally trained journalist, with experience in national news reporting/editing and verification at the News Agency of Nigeria. NNN is a Nigerian online news portal that publishes breaking news in Nigeria, and across the world. Our journalists are honest, fair, accurate, thorough and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting news in the best interest of the public, because truth is the cornerstone of journalism and they strive diligently to ascertain the truth in every news report. Contact: editor[at]nnn.com.ng

Coronavirus

German government calls coronavirus protest in Berlin ‘unacceptable’

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The German government chastised thousands of people, who gathered in Berlin, at the weekend to protest coronavirus restrictions, as packed crowds in the capital stoked fears of a spike in infections.


“The scenes that we had to see at the weekend are unacceptable,’’ deputy government spokeswoman, Ulrike Demmer, told reporters on Monday.

“The behaviour of many demonstrators is in no way justified and exploits the great good of the freedom to demonstrate,’’ she added.

Demmer condemned “serious violations of the hygiene rules’’ as well as hate speech, noting also that protesters prevented journalists from doing their job.

She also urged people who joined the event to consider what it means to walk side-by-side with supporters of rightist ideologies and conspiracy theories.

The government official also criticised people, for not only risking their own health, but also the health of others.

Police said up to 17,000 people took part in a march against coronavirus restrictions in the capital on Saturday, with a subsequent rally attracting a crowd of some 20,000.

Because many participants were not keeping the required distance from one another or wearing masks, police broke up the event in the early evening.

The demonstration, billed as a “Day of Freedom”, was organised by “Querdenken 711” (Lateral Thinking 711), an initiative that has staged multiple protests against coronavirus rules.

Querdenken 711 has been linked to right-wing populist groups and conspiracy theorists.

“Day of Freedom” is also the title of Leni Riefenstahl’s 1935 Nazi propaganda film.

Saturday’s mass protest prompted debate on to what extent the right to protest should be restricted during the pandemic.

“Peaceful demonstrations are of course also very important in these very trying times,’’ Demmer said.

Justice Minister, Christine Lambrecht, stressed that rules must be followed at such events in order to limit coronavirus infections and so as not to endanger others.

“I have no understanding for demonstrators who arrogantly defy this,’’ Lambrecht was quoted by the Monday edition of the Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper as saying.

Armin Schuster, an expert for interior affairs in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU), suggested banning mass demonstrations altogether.

Schuster said it would be appropriate “to permit such demonstrations only under far stricter constraints or not at all,’’ in comments to the Rheinische Post newspaper.

The protesters found support from the Alternative for Germany (AfD), a far-right party and the largest opposition force in parliament.

“I see no wrong behaviour,’’ AfD co-leader, Tino Chrupalla, told the ARD broadcaster, noting that people took to the streets peacefully to defend their civil rights.

“And that can only be welcomed.’’

Germany introduced sweeping restrictions in mid-March, most of which have been gradually lifted or eased since May.

Masks have since been made compulsory in shops and on public transport.

Testing is also being rolled out for holidaymakers and will in some cases be mandatory.

A spike in new cases has caused concern in recent weeks, after the number of infections reported daily stayed below 500 earlier last month, but rose to over 900 on Saturday, the day of the march and rally.

Early on Monday, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for disease control confirmed a latest daily rise of 509, bringing Germany’s total confirmed caseload so far to 210,402.

The government agency reported a total death toll of 9,148 while some 193,500 people are estimated to have recovered from the virus.

There have been some targeted lockdowns in Germany as regional outbreaks flare up.

On June 20 and 21, there were riots at a housing complex in the city of Goettingen after residents were ordered to stay in their homes for eight days.

On Monday, the Police said 36 people are facing criminal proceedings in connection with the violence.

AIB

Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)

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New term, new rules as first German schools return amid pandemic

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Tens of thousands of schoolchildren are returning to school in northern Germany from Monday, as the end of the summer holidays brings with it a major test in managing the coronavirus pandemic.


Mecklenburg-Vorpommern is the first of Germany’s 16 states to end its summer break, and the region’s 152,700 pupils will all return to class for the first time since schools were closed in response to the outbreak in mid-March.

In order to minimize the risk of infection, pupils have been divided into set groups which are not to intermix, although social-distancing rules have been lifted within those groups.

Jan Bonin, head teacher at the Reutershagen grammar school in the city of Rostock, said he was confident that they were getting off to a good start.

“Masks are compulsory in the halls of the building,” Bonin told dpa, adding that students who were nervous or unsure of the new norms were being greeted by teachers and receiving support.

He said there would be no tolerance for students who do not wear a mask.

Several islands in the northern-most state of Schleswig-Holsten are also resuming classes on Monday, with the port city of Hamburg to follow on Thursday.

Schools in Berlin and the surrounding state of Brandenburg join next week, as well as in the country’s most populous state of North Rhine Westphalia in the west and the rest of Schleswig-Holstein.

It will be up to the states whether masks are made compulsory in schools.

Government spokeswoman Ulrike Demmer on Monday welcomed the plans of some states to introduce such rules.

“Making masks mandatory sounds like a sensible consideration,” she told reporters in Berlin.

Germany’s state-by-state return to school comes as infections are creeping up again in the country, with the number of new daily cases surpassing 500 on Monday, making for a total confirmed caseload of 210,402.

Referring to this trend, Demmer said, “Of course it is a challenging task for states and municipalities, who have to deliver the right to an education for all students while of course simultaneously continuing to ascribe great importance to protecting health.”

Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim (NAN)

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Coronavirus

German gov’t says coronavirus protest in Berlin ‘unacceptable’

Published

on


The German government chastised the thousands of people who gathered in Berlin at the weekend to protest coronavirus restrictions, as packed crowds in the capital stoked fears of a spike in infections.


Deputy government spokeswoman Ulrike Demmer told reporters on Monday that “The scenes that we had to see at the weekend are unacceptable.

“The behaviour of many demonstrators is in no way justified and exploits the great good of the freedom to demonstrate.”

Demmer condemned “serious violations of the hygiene rules” as well as hate speech, noting also that protesters prevented journalists from doing their job.

She also urged people who joined the event to consider what it means to walk side-by-side with supporters of rightist ideologies and conspiracy theories.

The government official also criticised people for not only risking their own health but also the health of others.

Police said up to 17,000 people took part in a march against coronavirus restrictions in the capital on Saturday, with a subsequent rally attracting a crowd of some 20,000.

Because many participants were not keeping the required distance from one another or wearing masks, police broke up the event in the early evening.

The demonstration, billed as a “Day of Freedom,” was organised by “Querdenken 711″ (Lateral Thinking 711), an initiative that has staged multiple protests against coronavirus rules and has been linked to right-wing populist groups and conspiracy theorists.

“Day of Freedom” is also the title of Leni Riefenstahl’s 1935 Nazi propaganda film.

Saturday’s mass protest prompted debate on to what extent the right to protest should be restricted during the pandemic.

“Peaceful demonstrations are of course also very important in these very trying times,” Demmer said.

Justice Minister Christine Lambrecht stressed that rules must be followed at such events in order to limit coronavirus infections and so as not to endanger others.

“I have no understanding for demonstrators who arrogantly defy this,” Lambrecht was quoted by the Monday edition of the Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper as saying.

Armin Schuster, an expert for interior affairs in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU), suggested banning mass demonstrations altogether.

Schuster said it would be appropriate “to permit (such demonstrations) only under far stricter constraints or not at all,” in comments to the Rheinische Post newspaper.

The protesters found support from the Alternative for Germany (AfD), a far-right party and the largest opposition force in parliament.

“I see no wrong behaviour,” AfD co-leader Tino Chrupalla told the ARD broadcaster, noting that people took to the streets peacefully to defend their civil rights.

“And that can only be welcomed,” he said.

Germany introduced sweeping restrictions in mid-March, most of which have been gradually lifted or eased since May.

Masks have since been made compulsory in shops and on public transport.

Testing is also being rolled out for all holidaymakers, and will in some cases be mandatory.

A spike in new cases has caused concern in recent weeks, after the number of infections reported daily stayed below 500 earlier last month, but rose to over 900 on Saturday, the day of the march and rally.

Early Monday, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for disease control confirmed a latest daily rise of 509, bringing Germany’s total confirmed caseload so far to 210,402.

The government agency reported a total death toll of 9,148, while some 193,500 people are estimated to have recovered from the virus.

There have been some targeted lockdowns in Germany as regional outbreaks flare up.

On June 20 and 21, there were riots at a housing complex in the city of Goettingen after residents were ordered to stay in their homes for eight days.

On Monday, police said 36 people are facing criminal proceedings in connection with the violence.

Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim (NAN)

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Foreign

German state premier to support town affected by United States troop withdrawal

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The premier of the German state of Rhineland-Palatinate has pledged support to one of the regions affected by the withdrawal of United States troops from Germany.


“Whatever happens (at the military base) in Spangdahlem in the end – and we hope it will be very little – the state will of course support the local council and municipalities with the necessary measures,” Malu Dreyer said on Monday during talks with local officials.

The main aim was to maintain the United States military base in Spangdahlem and for the United States announcement to be reversed, the minister said.

“We are fighting for the site,” Dreyer added.

In the past week, the United States announced it would transfer F-16 fighter jets stationed in the town in the west of Germany to Italy, affecting around half of the 4,000 soldiers living at the air base.

The United States airforce said the base in Spangdahlem would continue to operate despite the troop withdrawal, though plans are not final yet.

Around 11,000 people live at the air base, including relatives.

United States President Donald Trump has announced the United States would withdraw about 12,000 troops stationed in Germany.

Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim (NAN)

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Contact US: editor @nnn.com.ng, nnnnews247 @gmail.com

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