NEWS

MPs’ income claims reveal little of value

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

The so-called ?pothen esches? forms — in which specific professional sectors are required to list all their assets so that the Finance Ministry can cross-check depositors? details with their earnings — were submitted by the 300 active members of Parliament, 22 Euro-deputies and 189 former MPs.

Data from previous years were not provided, despite calls for comparative figures. Also, the source of the wealth listed by the politicians remained unclear. No further explanations were offered regarding the fate of the bank deposits of 11 deputies who emptied their accounts in 2009.

The head of committee overseeing the inspection process, Vangelis Argyris, said none of the MPs declared assets in Swiss or any other foreign-based banks but that the forms will be looked at again and penalties imposed for any undeclared funds.

According to Argyris, the only declaration which violates the law is that of former minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos, who has been indicted for accepting bribes for the purchase of submarines.

The declarations revealed small increases in income. The income of former Premier and socialist PASOK leader George Papandreou rose to 129,000 euros from 126,000 in 2008. Conservative New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras and right-wing Popular Orthodox Rally leader Giorgos Karatzaferis reported the biggest increases.

Samaras said his rose to 217,000 euros from 107,000 in 2008, while Karatzaferis said he netted 268,000 euros, up from 110,000 in 2008. Communist Party leader Aleka Papariga said she received 135,000 euros, up from 90,000, while the leader of the Coalition of the Radical Left, Alexis Tsipras, said he made 48,000 euros, up from 21,500.