New twist in Lagarde list probe

Papaconstantinou linked to alteration of data relating to Greek savers at HSBC

Parliament on Friday received the original version of the so-called Lagarde list of some 2,000 Greeks who had deposited money at a Swiss branch of HSBC after court officials revealed that the names of three relatives of former Socialist Finance Minister Giorgos Papaconstantinou had been missing from the list that authorities had been investigating over the past few weeks.

As Papaconstantinou vehemently denied any connection to accounts on the list, or knowledge of the presence of his relatives’ names on it, the three parties in the coalition government called for an investigative committee to be set up in Parliament to probe whether the former minister removed names from the list he was given in 2010 by his then French counterpart Christine Lagarde.

The proposal for a probe was reportedly made by the head of Democratic Left, Fotis Kouvelis, who called for “a full investigation into the affair and the attribution of responsibility.” PASOK backed the proposal in a statement issued earlier in the day that announced Papaconstantinou’s ejection from the Socialist party. Government spokesman Simos Kedikoglou added that the proposal had the government’s support.

SYRIZA emphasized that Papaconstantinou’s implication should not exonerate PASOK chief Evangelos Venizelos, who succeeded Papaconstantinou as finance minister.

Financial prosecutors who had been probing the names on the so-called Lagarde list in recent weeks confirmed on Friday that the original list given to Greek authorities by their French counterparts last week included three additional names, which are linked to Papaconstantinou.

Officials of the Financial Crimes Squad (SDOE) cross-checked the names on the list being probed by authorities, featuring 2062 names, with those on the new list, featuring 2059 names, and sent prosecutors details of the three “missing” accounts. The three are Eleni Papaconstantinou-Sikiardis, a first cousin of the former minister, her husband Symeon Sikiardis and Andreas Rossonis, who is the husband of another first cousin of the ex-minister, Marina Papaconstantinou.