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The Odyseey of a List with 1,991 Tax Dodgers: From Lagarde to Greece with Love

I would like to kindly ask KTG-readers to search among all the items laying on their office desk – drawers included. Greek government is seeking at least one USB stick containing the names of almost 2,000 Greeks with large deposits in HSBC, Geneva, Switzerland. The case is taking a tragicomic turn, as:

1. Last week ex FinMin Papaconstantinou (Oct 2009-June 2011) stated he had handed out the CD he had obtained from Christine Lagarde in 2010 to Financial Crimes Unit (SDOE).

2. Last week former and current heads of SDOE stated they had not idea about such a CD.

3. The data was ‘officially’ missing.

4. Today, Tuesday, government partner Evangelos Venizelos handed over to Samaras the list with the names in a usb stick.

Venizelos (FinMin Jun 2011-2012) said he had been given the much wanted data by former SODE-head Diotis, while he was finance minister, but that he didn’t act on it because it was not legally obtained.

 4. Samaras’ office recieved the envelop today and without prior opening it, it handed over to SDOE head Stasinopoulos

5. Stanisonpoulos handed it over to economic prosecutor Peponis who now investigates the case.

6. Greek media  raise doubts whether the list is complete. Some MPs ask that Papaconstantinou testifies to economic prosecutor and why he selectively asked some 20 names to be checked but not all.

7. Yesterday, a Nea-Dimocratia MP sent a letter to Lagarde asking the full list of the illegally obtained CD.

 The HSBC-data containing the names of 24,000 tax dodgers form several EU countries was stolen in 2008 by ex bank employee Herves Falciani, who was fired by the bank and got arrested.

The conclusion of the whole case? Ex French Minister and current IMF chief Lagarde handed to Papaconstantinou a  CD containing illegaly obtained data 🙂

For more detailed reporting read:  the Odyssey of a list here , list in France/Switzerland here .

PS The number of Greek tax dodgers is 1,991. If your usb stick contains 2,000 names, it must be the list containing names of tax dodgers of another country…

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  1. From this it would seem that in Greek politics “illegal” is only illegal when the possible political cost outweighs the possible political gain. I wonder does the list still contain 1991 names, or have the “friends” somehow gotten lost in transit?

  2. Their friends have now had almost two years of forewarning to close their accounts and cover their tracks. Great. Scandal over. Nothing wrong here. Just another day in Greek Paradise.

    • Indeed, fully agree with that. And a few little envelopes will no doubt have changed hands to facilitate the “illegality” of the list.
      Sadly enough, the antics displayed by the Greek politicians are child’s play compared to the disastrous policies they are implementing on behalf of others.
      Yes, the whole lot of them should indeed be sacked with immediate effect, and probably charged with every crime in the book. But that does include the puppet masters as well. The Greek guys are only the puppets…
      As I keep saying, the system is rotten to the core. It needs complete dismantling, down to its very foundation. And a complete new system needs to be build. Not on the rotten foundations of the old one, on brand new, solid foundations. It is the only way.

  3. Do you really believe that Venizelos and the others that had the cd didn’t look at the names on the list??!! As someone noted on Twitter: if the cd is lost, it’s on someone’s computer, hard drive! If they really want to get the information they can. They should repeal the immunity that MP’s passed for themselves before they proceed. It’s hard to believe the country allowed such laws to be passed.

  4. The troika’s stance towards Greece has so far been asphyxiating, dogmatic, intrusive and controlling. But, it’s primarily the Greek government’s failure to reduce the rampant tax evasion, to reduce the para-economy and to proceed with the privatization of a number of state controlled companies and organizations, which made the cuts in pensions, salaries and benefits unavoidable. The government is dragging its feet to investigate nearly 2,000 Greek citizens for tax evasion, the Falciani/Lagarde list, to sign an agreement with the Swiss government in order to impose taxes on Swiss bank accounts held by affluent Greeks, and to collect more than €30 billion in unpaid taxes. It took more than 2 years for the Falciani/Lagarde list to reach SDOE, the Greek-Swiss negotiations started two years ago, and it takes a tax related case 7-12 years before the final adjudication is rendered.