Athens.- Former Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou indirectly accused current PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos, who took on the ministry after him, and the ministry’s financial crimes squad (SDOE) over the ‘non-utilization’ of the so-called ‘Lagarde list’ containing the names of 1,991 Greek citizens holding large bank accounts abroad, in statements to RealNews newspaper appearing on Saturday.
“Since the day I left the ministry, every effort to act on the list was halted,” he said.
Papaconstantinou categorically rejected any possibility of alteration of the list during his tenure at the ministry.
In another statement in the Sunday edition of Ethnos newspaper, he said that the CD containing the list “turned over to us by France was a copy, unlocked and without seals”.
Responding to criticism, Papaconstantinou said he was in a much worse financial state than when he entered politics. “I don’t have deposits in Switzerland, only loans,” he said.
In a testimony before a parliamentary standing committee on institutions and transparency on Wednesday,
Papaconstantinou told the committee that he had given the USB to then SDOE chief Yiannis Diotis, and that he gave the original material together with the accompanying letter “for confidential safe-keeping in my office” but added that he does not know where it is. “I’m sorry, but I do not know where it is. We should ask from France to re-send the list in order to stop all this speculation,” he said.
The list, sent to Papaconstantinou by the French finance minister Christine Lagarde contains the names of 1,991 Greek citizens that have sizeable bank accounts at the Geneva branch of HSBC bank.
Meanwhile a list of 2,059 names was published on Saturday in the Greek magazine Hot Doc, which it claims is the Lagarde list. The ‘list’ published by the magazine contains only names, with the size of the bank accounts maintained at HSBC.