CCTV.com - CNTV English - CCTV News

Greek parliament opens probe into "lost" list of Swiss account holders

10-03-2012 23:04 BJT

ATHENS, Oct. 3 (Xinhua) -- The Greek parliament opened on Wednesday a probe into a "lost" list containing names of some 2,000 Greeks with major deposits in an HSBC branch in Switzerland, local media reported.

Current and former top officials at the Greek Financial and Economic Crime Unit (SDOE) were called to testify before a parliamentary committee on the "problematic function" of the agency in handling the list and in investigating into the financial transactions of political figures, according to national news agency AMNA.

Furor has been triggered in Athens over the past few days regarding the progress of probes by authorities into suspected corruption and tax evasion, as Greecestruggles to counter a debt crisisattributed to some extent to such chronic plagues.

SDOE's chief prosecutor received on Tuesday a copy of the list, of which Christine Lagarde, current head of the International Monetary Fund and former finance minister of France, is said to have handed over two years ago to her Greek counterpart at the time George Papaconstantinou, containing data on accounts of Greek nationals at HSBC's branch in Geneva.

The Greek list was part of data obtained illegally by a former bank employee. Despite legal obstacles, authorities in some European countries investigated into alleged money laundering and tax evasion by their mentioned nationals and raised revenues.

However, the list handed to the Greek government had been somehow misplaced and "lost." Papaconstantinou, who left his post in June 2011, put the blame on SDOE.

Evangelos Venizelos, his successor to the finance ministry and current leader of the socialist PASOK party, sent a copy of the list he had kept on a memory stick to Prime Minister Antonis Samaras' office on Tuesday. It was promptly forwarded again to SDOE.

The case has drawn sharp criticism from deputies of several parties and local media, who talk about "suspicious incompetence" of several officials involved.

The incident with the so-called "Lagarde list" came after Greek media reported last week on another list containing the names of more than 30 former ministers and current and former MPs allegedly under probe by SDOE for their financial transactions.

Speaker of Parliament Evangelos Meimarakis, who was named by Greek dailies as one of the politicians investigated, announced last Thursday he would step aside temporarily until judicial authorities clear his name.

Yannis Ragoussis, a heavyweight PASOK figure who has served in several key ministerial posts in recent years, announced on Wednesday his intention to leave the party.

According to a press statement released by his office, he made the decision "in protest of the lack of determination by PASOK and the government to tackle tax evasion at a time when additional salary cuts and tax hikes are placed on the shoulders of poor Greeks to tackle the debt crisis."

Editor:James |Source: Xinhua

Hot Videos view more

The celebrations are still continuing as the victorious coach, Joachim Loew, has been honored for his achievement in his hometown of Freiburg.
Germany coach Loew honored in hometown of Freiburg

Chinese men´s national team continued its preparations for next year´s Asian Cup, as they managed a one-all draw against visitors Jordan during a football friendly in Harbin, the capital city of Northeast China´s Heilongjiang Province.
China held to 1-1 draw by Jordan

The defending world champs came into the contest with a perfect 6-and-oh record, but they would be in for a tough first half before opening things up in the second.
USA beat Slovenia 119-76 in quarter-finals

Hot Stories more

UK authorities believe killer of James Foley is a British national

Across the UK the hunt is on for James Foley’s killer, who authorities believe is a British national. As Richard Bestic reports from London, Prime Minister David Cameron cut short his summer break to lead his government’s response.

Israeli war jets renews Gaza strike as truce talks stalled

Three Palestinians were killed and 40 others wounded in the intensive Israeli war jets´ airstrikes on the Gaza city on Tuesday night, shortly before an end of a 24-hour ceasefire in the Gaza Strip,

Missouri police arrest dozens after violent night

As the protests in the town of Ferguson, Missouri turned violent with police facing ´heavy gunfire´ from some ´criminal elements´, cops fired tear gas, stun grenades and arrested 31 demonstrators on Monday night.

Picture in news more

More Video News

Choose TV Program