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Papandreou Won't Testify On Lagarde List

PapandreouFormer prime minister George Papandreou has said he won’t appear before a parliamentary committee investigating a list of 2,062 Greeks with $1.95 billion in secret Swiss bank accounts that was never checked for tax evaders at a time his administration was imposing big pay cuts, tax hikes and slashed pensions on the populace on the order of international lenders in return for a bailout.
Papandreou, a former PASOK Socialist leader who is now a Member of Parliament but spends most of his time in the United States teaching about governance at Ivy League colleges, was reportedly called by the committee Chairman, Christos Markoyiannakis, and asked if he would appear in person, but the former Premier said he’s going to send a written deposition and won’t be available for questioning.
His refusal to appear came as a Zoe Constantopoulou, a member of the major opposition party Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA)  claimed that the so-called Lagarde list contains the names of people with ties to  the ruling New Democracy Conservatives and PASOK and that the two parties are attempting to block the inquiry she is involved in from conducting a proper investigation of the list, the newspaper Kathimerini reported.
Constantopoulou has come under attack Markoyiannakis, who is a New Democracy member, and current PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos, who was a former finance minister and also had a copy of the list but refused to pursue tax cheats. She told Skai TV that the criticism directed at her – chiefly for asking numerous questions – is an attempt to cover-up any potential findings that could be embarrassing to New Democracy and PASOK, which is one of the partners in Prime Minister Antonis Samaras’ coalition.
“If you look at what has been said and the vulgar attitude of some committee members, you will realize the magnitude of the attack, which is not personal but serves the purpose of a cover-up,” she said. Without naming any of the account holders, Constantopoulou claimed some were former or current members of PASOK and New Democracy.
Constantopoulou said that the committee was not properly investigating Venizelos over his failure to make use of the list to track potential tax evaders. He succeeded former finance minister George Papaconstantinou, who is being probed as part of an investigation into who erased the names of three of his relatives from the list of account holders at the Geneva branch of HSBC. He was appointed by Papandreou.
The list is named for former French finance minister Christine Lagarde, who gave it to Papaconstantinou in 2010. He said it disappeared. She is now head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) one of Greece’s Troika of lenders.
The committee resumed work on April 5 after a fiery session the previous day that featured screaming matches between politicians and the smashing of a glass and a microphone by neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party spokesman Ilias Kasidiaris.

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