Former Transport Minister and prominent PASOK member Yiannis Ragousis has announced his decision to leave the ranks of the Greek socialist party.
In a statement released on Wednesday Ragousis said he was leaving PASOK over the failure to follow up on a CD listing the names of about 2,000 Greeks with major deposit accounts in a HSBC branch in Geneva.
In the announcement, Ragousis referred to his own official role as minister at a time when he was obliged to «agree on salary and pension cuts in order for Greece to remain on its feet,» while he considered all that was being confirmed through the list as «politically immoral and «shockingly unfair to society.”
The list, which is thought to have been put together by French officials in 2010 and subsequently handed to former Finance Minister Giorgos Papaconstantinou by his then French counterpart, Christine Lagarde — who currently heads the International Montetary Fund — was submitted to the current government by PASOK head Evangelos Venizelos on Tuesday.
A former finance minister, Venizelos said that he had received the list from Financial Crimes Squad (SDOE) chief Yiannis Diotis in August 2011.
According to Ragousis, the existence of the list underlined the «decisiviness or not to battle tax evasion with the same severity used to reduce incomes and impose new tax hikes.”