NEWS

Ex-PM slams allegations his mother is on 'Lagarde list'

Former Prime Minister George Papandreou, who led Greece into its first bailout deal with its foreigners creditors after being elected in 2009, slammed reports in local media on Sunday suggesting that his mother Margaret is being investigated in connection to a list of Greeks with large deposits in a Swiss bank.

"The publications... are clearly targeting me and the policies I implemented against all manner of political and personal interests," George Papandreou said in a statement issued in response to Sunday's editions of To Vima and Proto Thema alleging that the Financial Crimes Squad (SDOE) is investigating his mother over large deposits at the Geneva branch of HSBC.

The publications quote a source from SDOE as saying that Margaret Papandreou's name appears behind the largest deposit on the so-called "Lagarde list" -- a list of Greek depositors at the HSBC branch that was submitted to ex-Finance Minister Giorgos Papaconstantinou in the fall of 2010 by his French counterpart at the time Christine Lagarde, currently managing director of the International Monetary Fund.

In response to the publications, Margaret Papandreou, also wife of former Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou, suggested that they were a personal attack against her family, dismissing the allegations as "lies and false accusations."

"The people in charge of the newspapers To Vima and Proto Thema have the experience to know that they should have simply asked me, investigated the case before they published anything. Cowardly and immoral, they did not," Margaret Papandreou said in her statement.

The amount of the deposit is said to be in excess of 500 million, though it was not clear in what currency.

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