Parliament posts origin of wealth declarations

No Greek parliamentarian has assets in Swiss banks, according to a preliminary probe into the origin of wealth declarations submitted by 572 politicians for 2009 and posted online on Tuesday.

The so-called «pothen esches» forms — in which specific professional sectors are required to list the provenance of all of their assets so that the Finance Ministry can crosscheck depositors’ details with their earnings — were submitted by 300 active members of Parliament, 22 Euro MPs, 189 former MPs, eight extra-parliamentary ministers, 13 former Euro MPs, 27 finance managers for political parties and 13 former party economists. The details of the forms were also posted on the Greek Parliament’s website in a drive to bring more transparency to state finances.

The head of committee overseeing the inspection process, Vangelis Argyris said that none of the MPs declared assets in Swiss or any other foreign-based banks, adding that their declarations will be looked into in more detail and that «if anyone is found to have even 100 euros in a Swiss bank that is undeclared, they will be in breach of the law.”

“There is a process being carried out and we are expecting information from the Finance Ministry on whether there are MPs that have deposits in Swiss banks. Every ‘pothen esches’ remains open for the inspection committee and none will be closed until all the information has been crosschecked,» Argyris added. He also said that he has sent a letter to Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos requesting information on any cash transfers that may have been made to Swiss banks by Greek politicians since 2009.

The preliminary investigation also found that 15 MPs declared a reduction in assets of 100,000 euros and above on average. Four of these justified the reduction by declaring real estate purchases, while the other 11 will be required to explain where the money went so that the committee can ascertain whether they have made cash transfers abroad.

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