Former PASOK Socialist Defense Minister Yiannos Papantoniou and former New Democracy deputy Economy and Finance Minister Petros Doukas from the New Democracy Conservative party are to face charges in civil court they didn’t declare all their wealth, as required by Greek law.
The newspaper Kathimerini said that a Parliamentary committee found that Papantoniou didn’t put down 1.3 million euros ($1.73 million) he and his wife had deposited in Switzerland. It wasn’t known if they had paid taxes on it.
That was discovered when the name of his wife, Stavroula Kourakou, appeared on the so-called Lagarde List of 2,062 Greeks with $1.95 billion in the Geneva branch of HSBC, which he had earlier said he didn’t know anything about. The committee found that Doukas had not listed 1 million euros ($1.33 million) in his 2010 declaration of assets.
The news came as another Parliamentary committee began its inquiry into former finance minister George Papaconstantinou’s handling of the Lagarde List of secret Swiss bank accounts that hadn’t been checked for tax evasion and from which the names of three of his relatives were erased.
The Lagarde List is named for former French finance minister Christine Lagarde, who said it came from a larger list of depositors in the bank stolen by a former bank employee. She said she gave it to Papaconstantinou in 2010 and he said it mysteriously vanished.
After current Finance Minister Yiannis Stournaras vowed to find it, current PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos – who was Papaconstantinou’s successor as finance minister in a former government but isn’t being investigated – produced a copy on a memory stick.
When Greek officials went to Paris in December, 2012 to get the original it was found to have the names of three of Papaconstantinou’s relatives that weren’t on the Greek versions, setting in play a fierce debate in Parliament that led to the investigation now underway.
The revelations that politicians and the rich are largely escaping sacrifice and not even being investigated for possible tax evasion as the government is imposing big pay cuts, tax hikes and slashed pensions has enraged Greeks and continues to cut into the government’s efforts to reform the economy.