Saturday February 28, 2015 Search
Weather | Athens
11o C
6o 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)  
A unionist agenda
The beguiling limelight
A breath of opportunity
Give the green light
Alleged accomplices of N17´s Xeros caught in Athens
One man was arrested and another detained in Athens on Saturday in connection to the November 17 terrorist Christodoulos Xeros, who was recaptured in January after a year on the run. Accordi...
Hellas Gold and workers react to Greek gov´t decision on plan permit
Hellas Gold and its workers at the gold mine in Skouries, Halkidiki, have vowed to take legal action after the government announced on Friday that it would be recalling the permit for a proc...
Inside News
Greece seeks negotiations on ECB bond repayment
Greece called into question on Saturday a major debt repayment it must make to the European Central Bank this summer, after acknowledging it faces problems in meeting its obligations to inte...
Piraeus plans are coming in next few weeks
Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis on Friday visited the installations of Piraeus Container Terminal (PCT), the local subsidiary of Cosco, with Chinese Ambassador Zou Xiaoli, in another effor...
Inside Business
BASKETBALL
Spanoulis leads Olympiakos to win over Malaga
A good second half was enough for Olympiakos to get the better of Unicaja Malaga (77-72) and score its seventh win in eight games at the second group stage of the Euroleague on Friday. Playi...
SOCCER
Ten-man Olympiakos couldn´t overcome Dnipro
Olympiakos drew 2-2 with Dnipro from Ukraine at home on Thursday, playing almost the entire second half with a man down, to bow out of the Europa League, despite facing an opponent which on ...
Inside Sports
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Alleged accomplices of N17´s Xeros caught in Athens
2. Hellas Gold and workers react to Greek gov´t decision on plan permit
3. Greek ministry says teacher hirings to continue via ASEP
4. Women conned elderly Cretans by posing as church representatives
5. Spain, Portugal sought to trip up gov’t, Tsipras says
6. Police nab Kavala man over homegrown cannabis
more news
Today
This Week
1. Greece seeks negotiations on ECB bond repayment
2. A unionist agenda
3. Greek ministry says teacher hirings to continue via ASEP
4. Hellas Gold and workers react to Greek gov't decision on plan permit
5. Women conned elderly Cretans by posing as church representatives
6. At least three GD MPs to be released ahead of trial
Today
This Week
1. Time for Alexis Tsipras to keep his nerve
2. Greek bailout deal faces review by euro officials next week
3. Greece says eurozone deal won time as cash bled from banks
4. The ignorance of the West about the culture of Islam
5. A fierce battle looms
6. Spain said to lead push to hold Greece to terms as Podemos grows
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2015, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.