While George Papaconstantinou still enjoys family vacations in the Netherlands, coalition government and opposition parties clash with each other in Athens on the perspectives of the probe against the former finance minister.
On Monday, the last day of 2012, a government proposal signed by 71 MPs was submitted to the Parliament. A proposal suggesting that Papaconstantinou should face a parliamentary inquiry over claims he tampered with the infamous Lagarde list and removed the files containing the HSBC account of three of his relatives.
The proposal will be discussed in the Parliament between January 14 and 18th 2013 and a secret ballot will decide whether there will be a probe against Papaconstantinou or not. A simple majority will decide whether the ex FinMin will be prosecuted for doctoring an “official document” and for breach of duty.
Of course, the Lagarde list is not officially an “official document” as it was never officially received by the Greeks. At least not in 2010. But it’s a list containing the names of 2,059/2,062 of bank account holders, names and assets that should have been investigated and crosschecked on possible tax evasion. A list that Papaconstantinou received in 2010 and never utilized.
Papaconstantinou insists on not having made any modifications on the Lagarde list and claims, he feels like a “scapegoat”, the victim of a “manufactured guilt” or somebody who has to be “sacrificed”.
While the government parties feel they have done their duty in sending Papaconstantinou to a probe, main opposition party left-wing SYRIZA believes that there are more people bearing responsibility for the scandal and wants also former and current PASOK leaders George Papandreou and Evangelos Venizelos to face an inquiry.
But in a country where political responsibilities traditionally end at the most vulnerable end of the chain an inquiry against the political bosses of Papaconstantinou will hardly find its way to Parliament.
Meanwhile, lawyer Eleni Papaconstantinou-Sikiaridis, the first cousin of Papaconstantinou submitted her resignation from the position in the state privatization fund (TAIPED). Her name was one of the three relatives of Papaconstantinou removed from the Lagarde list. In her resignation Eleni Papaconstantinou stressed that the money held at HSBC Geneva branch was “legal wealth of herself and her husband”. However she neither noted whether she knew her name was deleted from the Lagarde list nor if so, why. She was assigned as legal advisor to TAIPED last September. Now some media seek to find out who assigned her to this post.
Eleni and her sister Marina Papaconstantinou are the daughters of Michalis Papaconstantinou, a Greek politicians who served also as Foreign Minister under Mitsotakis government.
George Papaconstantinou is expected to return to Athens tomorrow, Thursday.
PS and when the probe and investigation are over, they will all live happily ever after – most probably….