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Cigna bankruptcy: criticism of Olaf Schulz – did Gusenbauer arrange the deal?

Cigna bankruptcy: criticism of Olaf Schulz – did Gusenbauer arrange the deal?

A documentary film by the German channel “ARD” depicts the role of German Social Democratic Party Chancellor Olaf Schulz in the Elbtower bankruptcy project in Hamburg. Suspected actor in the deal: former SPÖ advisor Alfred Gusenbauer. He is said to have introduced entrepreneurs Benko and Schultz.

Already in December, after the first bankruptcy in the Cigna real estate empire Rene BencoCriticism rained down on the German Chancellor Olaf Schulz (SPD).

Why: Before becoming chancellor in 2021, Schulz was mayor of the German port city of Hamburg. Shortly before the end of his term in 2018, Schulz submitted plans for the Elliptower. The project was supposed to cost one billion euros.

In the ARD documentary: “René Picot: Gambler and Politics”, the Tyrolean businessman's ties with Germany are dissected. Schulz wasn't the only one who allowed himself to be blinded, according to the original audio. Observers in the documentary say that the 2018 deals were indeed suspicious.

Uncertainty since 2018

As reported by ARD, there were disagreements long before Signa went bankrupt: the contract for the purchase of the Elbtower Grund was concluded between the City of Hamburg and Signa before the project was submitted. And: Pincus paid Cigna 122 million euros, which should amount to 13 million less This must be when two other bidders have submitted their bids.

That was very unusual even at that time Jörg Hamann (CDU), former Hamburg citizen representative. They only learned about the project by chance He describes the award as a “secret procedure.”. Hamann says that Benko's “bad reputation” was already known at the time, and the Tyrolean businessman was already well known in 2014 for his “Attempt to invest prohibited“He was found guilty. Even then it reeked of 'fraud.'

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“Friend Economy”

The documentary critically examines Banco's political network, the Austrian “friendship economy.” Particular attention is paid to the role of former Austrian Chancellor Alfred Gusenbauer (SPÖ). He is said to have introduced Cigna and Schulz, the ARD report said.

Gusenbauer's role at Cigna is controversial: after his period as Chancellor of Austria, he served as an advisor to Cigna and at the same time held positions on the Supervisory Board. After the bankruptcy, Gusenbauer filed a claim for €6.3 million as a creditor.

Former member of the German Bundestag Fabio De Masi (left) Gusenbauer, as a long-time political friend of Schulz, allowed his connections to show here. “Schulz wanted to reassure himself that the whole matter would not fall at his feet,” De Masi reportedly told Gusenbauer, but without naming Schulz directly.