Thursday October 23, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
22o C
16o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
The Lagarde list crystal ball

By Nikos Konstandaras

The publication of findings of the judicial probe into the so-called Lagarde list of people and firms with accounts at an HSBC branch in Switzerland, which is expected on Friday, could have consequences far more serious than those feared by the officials who first handled the issue two years ago. With PASOK in the eye of the storm, at a time when it is a crucial member of the governing coalition, any revelations that will burden the once mighty party may threaten the government’s cohesion. At such a dangerous moment, then, it is inconceivable that the present handling of the issue should leave room for further suspicion.

How can citizens believe that what they hear regarding the list will be the truth? First, the list (which was given to Greece by Christine Lagarde when she was France’s finance minister) was lost; then, for two years, it drifted about, aimlessly and perhaps abridged; while Parliament debated noisily, it was published to great fanfare in a magazine, without anyone knowing whether it was the “real” list or not. Later we learned that the French would be sending us another “authentic” copy; a few weeks later, three state officials went to Paris to fetch it and prosecutors set about comparing the new list with the old one’s 2,000-or-so names. Meanwhile, rumors spread about hundreds (or perhaps just a handful) of names having been omitted from the first list; accusations of adulteration followed, as did calls for the political system to be demolished if the claims were true. By late last night, there was no official announcement that would, at last, show that the issue was being treated seriously.

Perhaps we will never be able to evaluate the Lagarde list for what it is: a catalog of names of people and companies who have – or had – an account at HSBC in Switzerland. These are not all the accounts held abroad by Greeks nor, of course, are they all illegal. Maybe some people will be called on to pay taxes for amounts that they cannot justify, while others will be left in peace at last.

From the start, the issue fueled citizens’ cynicism, from the way PASOK’s finance ministers and financial crimes squad leaders handled it to today’s officials – whose extreme caution, on the one hand, and delays, on the other, have allowed the spread of rumors, new leaks and the further undermining of confidence in the political system.

Whatever the list has been hiding, its contents would not have been so dangerous as the handling of the issue has proved. But people’s suspicions are based on a deep-rooted lack of trust. When everyone knows the level of tax evasion, while at the same time being called on to pay higher and higher taxes, no one believes waht they are told is true. And so the Lagarde list becomes another crystal ball, in which we look to see not what is there but what we expect to see.

ekathimerini.com , Thursday December 27, 2012 (22:34)  
Defusing a crisis
PM needs to step up
Careful what you wish for
Taking care of our key industry
Cyprus president to sit out EU summit due to high blood pressure
Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades was admitted to a hospital in Brussels on Thursday morning following repeated nosebleeds caused by high blood pressure. He was discharged a few hours late...
Strong winds hamper sea travel
Winds reching 7 and 8 Beaufort led to disruptions in Saronic Gulf sea travel services from and to Piraeus, the Greek coast guard said on Thursday morning. Services were also disrupted on the...
Inside News
TBEX brings together 800 travel bloggers in Athens
Over 800 travel bloggers and writers were expected to meet in Athens on Thursday, the first day of the TBEX Europe 2014 conference, an annual gathering of travel industry professionals. Besi...
Athens weighs its LNG and CNG options
Energy Minister Yiannis Maniatis met on Wednesday with officials from six leading shipping companies in the liquefied natural gas (LNG) sector, as he is weighing the possibility of Greece as...
Inside Business
SOCCER
Roberto´s heroics make Kasami´s goal count
Pajtim Kasami’s goal and Roberto’s heroics in goal saw Olympiakos claim one of the biggest wins in its history on Wednesday downing Italian champion Juventus 1-0 to boost its chances of reac...
SOCCER
Third-division Iroditos punished heavily after fan death
Greek third division team Irodotos has been docked 15 points and ordered to play 10 matches behind closed doors following the death of an Ethnikos Piraeus supporter, the Hellenic Football Fe...
Inside Sports
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Cyprus president to sit out EU summit due to high blood pressure
2. Strong winds hamper sea travel
3. TBEX brings together 800 travel bloggers in Athens
4. Roberto´s heroics make Kasami´s goal count
5. Athens weighs its LNG and CNG options
6. Greece ranks among global leaders in tourism growth
more news
Today
This Week
1. TBEX brings together 800 travel bloggers in Athens
2. Strong winds hamper sea travel
3. Cyprus president to sit out EU summit due to high blood pressure
4. At least 11 banks to fail European stress tests, three in Greece, report says
5. Cyprus to block Turkey's EU talks after EEZ violation
6. EU’s Juncker wins Commission-team approval with investment vow
Today
This Week
1. Coalition shooting itself in the foot
2. Istanbul skyscraper casts shadow over Greece's banking ambitions
3. Greece’s closed society is central to its current malaise
4. The past, present and future of the Greek debt crisis
5. Greece must stick to reforms, says Schaeuble
6. At least 11 banks to fail European stress tests, three in Greece, report says
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.