Papaconstantinou dismisses Parliament probe as effort to ‘manufacture guilt’

Former Finance Minister Giorgos Papaconstantinou has dismissed the move to make him face a parliamentary inquiry over the Lagarde list as an attempt to “manufacture guilt” after Greece’s three governing coalition parties agreed to propose such an investigation.

A total of 71 MPs from New Democracy, PASOK and Democratic Left signed a proposal for Parliament to investigate whether Papaconstantinou should face prosecution over allegations that he tampered with the list of Greek depositors at the Geneva branch of HSBC in order to remove the details of his relatives.

Parliament will have to vote by January 15 on whether the inquiry should be held. A simple majority in the 300-seat House will be enough for the investigative committee to get the green light.

SYRIZA is likely to submit its own proposal, possible asking for other officials apart from Papaconstantinou to be investigated.

The ex-finance minister said that he was at Parliament’s disposal but called for the House to conduct a thorough investigation rather than allow him to become a scapegoat.

“I have nothing to hide and I will not be a willing Iphigenia for anyone,” he said.

Papaconstantinou again pointed to his successor at the Finance Ministry, PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos, as possibly having a motive to tamper with the list.

“Today’s proposal to bring me before a parliamentary committee is full of inaccuracies and has already deemed me guilty for doctoring electronic data that others had in their possession for the last 18 months,” he said.