German Finance Minister Schäuble sees ‘greed’ in VW scandal


German Finance Minister Schäuble has said VW’s scandal is about “greed” but does not fear for the German market. His comments come ahead of VW’s executive meeting to examine the findings from an internal investigation.

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble weighed in on the emissions-rigging scandal rocking German carmaker Volkswagen (VW) on Wednesday.

“It is greed for fame, for recognition. One looks at it in amazement and always sees how it ends up,” Schäuble said in an interview with the news provider “RedaktionsNetzwerk.” He said competition is “incredibly rough, if you want to be successful on the global market.”

VW’s scandal is a massive embarrassment for Germany, as well. For years, the country lobbied against stricter regulations for automakers and held up VW as an example of outstanding German engineering. “In the end, VW will no longer be what it has been. A lot will change from a structural perspective,” said Schäuble.

Many fear that the scandal will have a negative effect on the German economy as well since VW employs more than 600,000 people worldwide and is a major part of the country’s exports. Schäuble rejected these claims saying: “We will emerge from the crisis stronger. We learn from crises.”

Internal Investigation

The executive committee of VW is set to meet on Wednesday evening to review the initial results of its internal emissions-rigging investigation, according to Reuters news agency. They will gather at the company headquarters in the northern German city of Wolfsburg along with a representative of the US law firm Jones Day, who will most-likely lead the external investigation.

According to Reuter’s anonymous source, an engineer interviewed for the internal probe allegedly warned of illegal practices back in 2011, but no action was taken.

The leadership of the company has also changed hands with Matthias Müller taking the company reins last Friday. German prosecutors are investigating ex-CEO Martin Winterkorn for fraud.

The company admitted to cheating on diesel emissions tests in the US and manipulating tests in Europe, as well. The crisis has wiped out more than one third of the company’s market value.



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