Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

BUSINESS DAILY

The Tour de France, a PR machine

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Coverage of the third plane crash in one week - from France, Algeria and Burkina Faso

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Coverage of the plane crash that took 116 lives - almost half of them French

Read more

DEBATE

Gaza: A Truce At All Costs?

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Central African Republic: Brazzaville ceasefire talks deliver fragile deal

Read more

FOCUS

Sluggish tourist season in Crimea

Read more

ENCORE!

Bartabas : Mixing Christ with Spanish music and dancing horses

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Shifts in the propaganda war waged between Israelis and Palestinians

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

French MPs face quandary in pro-Palestinian rallies

Read more

  • Live: ‘No survivors’ from Algerian plane crash, says Hollande

    Read more

  • French families grieve for Algerian plane crash victims

    Read more

  • Protest against Gaza offensive turns deadly in West Bank

    Read more

  • Ukraine names acting PM after Yatseniuk's shock resignation

    Read more

  • Deadly strike on UN shelter in Gaza Strip

    Read more

  • Wreckage of Algeria plane found in Mali

    Read more

  • BNP to pay $80 million for defrauding Dept of Agriculture

    Read more

  • Pope meets Christian woman sentenced to death in Sudan

    Read more

  • Air Algérie crash: 'We should eliminate the missile hypothesis'

    Read more

  • Italy’s Nibali cruises to victory in 18th stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • Iraqi parliament elects moderate Kurd as president

    Read more

  • US, European agencies lift travel restrictions to Tel Aviv

    Read more

  • No end to fighting until Israel ends Gaza blockade, Hamas says

    Read more

Europe

Greece to launch tax probe into former finance minister

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2013-01-18

The Greek parliament agreed Friday to investigate former socialist finance minister George Papaconstantinou for allegedly interfering with a tax evasion probe. Papaconstantinou is suspected of tampering with a confidential document.

The Greek parliament on Friday agreed to investigate former socialist finance minister George Papaconstantinou for allegedly tampering with a confidential tax document to hinder a probe into tax evasion.

After a lengthy and heated debate that started early on Thursday, a majority of lawmakers voted in favour of setting up a committee to look into the minister's suspected cover-up.

Not enough votes were gathered to approve further probes into another former minister and two ex-prime ministers regarding the same scandal, which involves a list of names of Greek citizens with accounts at HSBC bank in Switzerland suspected of tax evasion.

"It is obvious that some people want me to be the scapegoat," said Papaconstantinou, who is accused of deleting the names of three of his relatives from the list, when he addressed the parliament on Thursday.

"I did not alter anything. I had no reason to do so. My relatives have provided evidence that the sums concerned are legal and have already been taxed," he said.

"I did not make a fortune through politics, I do not have any accounts in Swiss banks nor do I have offshore companies. I only have loans," he added.

Greece's coalition government, led by the conservative New Democracy party and including the socialist Pasok and moderate left-wing Democratic Left, has been in favour of investigating Papaconstantinou for alleged breach of duty and falsification of an official document.

Radical leftist Syriza, the main opposition party, had also called for an investigation of Pasok leader Evangelos Venizelos, Papaconstantinou's successor in the finance ministry.

Two smaller opposition parties further wanted a probe into former prime ministers George Papandreou and Lucas Papademos.

Papaconstantinou, who has retired from politics, helped engineer the heavily indebted country's first austerity programme and international bailout plan in 2010.

Greek financial prosecutors are currently looking into some 2,000 names on the list which was originally leaked by an HSBC employee.

Local media have branded the scandal the "Lagarde list" affair, as current International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde initially sent the list to Papaconstantinou in 2010 when she was France's finance minister.

(AFP)

 

Date created : 2013-01-18

  • GREECE

    S&P upgrades Greece to B- with stable outlook

    Read more

  • GREECE

    Greece names second finance minister in five days

    Read more

  • GREECE

    New finance minister named in bid to reassure public and Socialists

    Read more

COMMENT(S)