Merkel defends lobbying for Wirecard on 2019 China visit

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel has defended her lobbying for Wirecard during a 2019 visit to China. She testified before a parliamentary committee on Friday that the payments company received no special treatment and that it was in Germany’s interest to promote its businesses. Wirecard collapsed in June after admitting that 1.9 billion euros supposedly held in trust accounts in the Philippines probably did not exist. Lawmakers have accused financial supervisors of looking the other way despite reports of irregularities going back at least five years. German news agency dpa quoted Merkel as telling the investigating committee “there was no reason to assume serious irregularities at Wirecard.”