Papaconstantinou denies doctoring Lagarde list

Former Finance Minister Giorgos Papaconsantinou on Thursday denied tampering with the Lagarde list of possible tax cheats, adding that he was being scapegoated by his political enemies.

Speaking at Parliament ahead of a vote on which politicians should face a parliamentary inquiry over the scandal, Papaconstantinou rejected accusations that he had removed the names of three relatives from a list of Greeks with Swiss bank accounts.

“First of all, I had no reason to do so… given that the money was shown to be legally acquired wealth and subject to taxation,” said the embattled socialist official, attacking the media of “cannibalizing” his relatives.

“I don’t wish for anyone, not even my worst enemy, to live through what my family and I have lived through in the last few days,” he said. “It is clear that some people want to make me a scapegoat.”

If he had been the one to doctor the list, Papaconstantinou claimed, then he would have made sure to remove more than just the names of his three relatives in order to obscure his involvement.

“Erasing the names of my three relatives, and only these, is an attempt to incriminate me,” Papaconstantinou said adding that he too had found out that the list had been doctored “when everyone else did, that is on 28 December 2012.”

Earlier on Thursday, lawmakers endorsed a proposal by PASOK chief Evangelos Venizelos to hold a single vote with MPs deciding which politicians should face a parliamentary inquiry over the scandal.

That vote is to take place later in the day.