Ex-Finance Minister Giorgos Papaconstantinou has denied tampering with the so-called Lagarde list of Greek depositors at the Geneva branch of HSBC after judicial sources suggested that the names of three of the PASOK’s official’s relatives had been removed from the list authorities had been investigating.
“Over the last few hours, there has been a deplorable process of leaks and description of names related to the Lagarde list, according to which people from my wider family circle are being identified and speculation about the list being doctored has spread,” said the former finance minister in a statement.
Papaconstantinou stated “categorically” that he is not connected to any bank account on the list of depositors, that he has not intervened in the list and passed it on to authorities untouched and that he had no knowledge of the list containing accounts belonging to his relatives.
“I will not accept guilt being assigned where it does not exist and being made a sacrificial lamb for this issue,” added the ex-minister in his statement. “After all, it was thanks to my initiative that this information came to Greece. I gave the data to the Financial Crimes Squad (SDOE) to investigate.
“I ask that all the information comes to light and for a full investigation to take place.”
Speaking to Greek state radio from the Netherlands, Papaconstantinou said it was inconceivable that he would take such an “idiotic” risk as doctoring the list of depositors.
The discrepancy in the list was allegedly found after French authorities gave the original version of the list of some 2,000 depositors for a second time last week. The list was first supplied in 2010.
Speaking to Skai TV, SYRIZA spokesman Panos Skourletis suggested that the Lagarde list could trigger the collapse of the coalition government.
His colleague at the leftist party, MP Dimitris Papadimoulis said SYRIZA would push for a parliamentary inquiry into the handling of the Lagarde list.