Lagarde list: much to many copied usb-sticks puzzle Greeks – or not

Posted by in Politics

I openly admit: I cannot make a clue. I have been following a morning magazine on television trying to unravel the skein of the Lagerde list and the much too many scenarios about who tampered it. There is the original CD handed by then French finance minister to her then Greek counterpart George Papaconstantinou in October 2010. This CD was copied into a usb stick. And then it looks there are several copies and clones of this stick that contains 2.062 or 2,059 names of potential tax evaders.

While there has been no official statemnt so far about sticks copies and clones, several leakages to the Greek press create such a confusion that I am really unable to follow. Whether I watch television programs on the issue or I read newspapers and websites.

In fact, I am rather lazy to read all details and names of the thriller that pulls former finance minister George Papaconstantinou and possibly PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos into abuse of political power or even legal actions.

So far the main question who and when tampered the memory stick.

So far Papaconstantinou denied all accusations that it was him who removed the names of his three relatives from Lagarde list.

So far two dates have been leaked to the press about the date of tamperation:

1)  July 8, 2011:  According to judicial sources, the memory stick was copied in the first half of July 2011, most probably on July 8th 2011, when Papaconstantinou was replaced and Venizelos had not took office as finance minister (ethnos.gr)

2) 4-5 August 2010: According to Costas Vaxevanis, the journalist who published 1,962 excel archives with names of HSBC account holders in October 2012, the usb stick he had received was copied on 4-5 August 2010.  That is several months before Papaconstantinou told state broadcaster NET on Monday that he had received the CD from the French. Vaxevanis had given the usb-stick to a electronic forensics company for investigation. (HOT DOC magazine via Protothema)

According to Efimerida twn Syntaktwn, the Lagarde list is much more than the removal of Papaconstantinou relatives. It contains names of people who were involved in SIEMENS-bribes and other scandals such as those of “structured bonds”. These accounts were investigated by the Bank of Greece and the Financial Crimes Units (SDOE).

“The Lagarde list in form of CD was handed out to Papaconstantinou in September 2010 through diplomatic channels,” so Greek Foreign Ministry (Proto Thema)

Nevertheless, the parliamentary committee investigating the assets of political persons decided to call former minister Yiannos Papantoniou (PASOK) and  Giorgos Voulgarakis (Nea Dimocratia) to explain amounts their wives had in HSBC and whose names were on the Lagarde list.

The committee sent the Voulgarakis case to prosecutor for an amount on undeclared 110,000 euro.

The Papantoniou case is still under investigation by the committee.

Interesting enough is that all ministers under suspicion have withdrawn from politics and are considered “politically dead”.

Whether Lagarde list leads to SIEMENS scandal or to Noah’s flood, one thing is clear: politicians and state officials failed in dealing with the hot material, while the many leakages create confusion and distract the public opinion. Not to mention the attempts to cover up the truth.

What is striking is that the Lgarde list is high on the agenda of the political and media world,  while we, average Greeks, face the same dilemma on a daily winter basis: eat or heat?

PS we live in a nice playground…