NEWS

Former PM denies knowledge of depositors’ list

The office of former Prime Minister George Papandreou on Friday denied claims by an opposition SYRIZA deputy that he was aware of the existence of a list of some 200 names with large deposits in a Swiss bank that was submitted to Greek authorities in 2010 by Christine Lagarde, then finance minister of France and currently chief of the International Monetary Fund.

Papandreou’s office said that claims by SYRIZA MP Zoe Constantopoulou, made in Parliament on Thursday, that the former premier not only knew of the list but had also arranged a meeting with the chief of the HSBC branch in Geneva where some 200 Greeks allegedly have large deposits, «are lacking in gravity.» The statement went on to say that such claims are «aimed at making a political impression and serving petty party interests.”

On Thursday, Constantopoulou had claimed that a Parliamentary investigation into the handling of the so-called «Lagarde list» by former finance ministers Giorgos Papaconstantinou and Evangelos Venizelos, as well as by two successive chiefs of the Financial Crimes Squad (SDOE), had suggested that Papandreou had known about the list and had met with the governor of the bank in question. She also said that Papandreou should be called before the investigating committee to explain his alleged role in the handling of the information.