NEWS

Ex PM tells inquiry he ‘ordered’ tax crackdown

In a written deposition submitted to the parliamentary committee investigating the political handling of the so-called Lagarde list of Greek depositors, former Prime Minister George Papandreou claims that he had given an “order” to all his associates and aides to crack down on tax evasion, according to a leaked version of the ex-premier’s testimony.

Papandreou said he had been informed in mid-2010 by then Finance Minister Giorgos Papaconstantinou about “the potential for acquiring data relating to the savings of Greeks abroad.” “I gave an order for all necessary action to be taken to obtain it,” the deposition continued. It added, however, that Papandreou “was never informed nor asked to be informed about the contents of the list.”

The former prime minister, who is currently in the US, chose not to appear in person at the committee, which has been charged with determining whether Papaconstantinou tampered with the Lagarde list.

Leftist SYRIZA MPs sitting on the committee have called for Papandreou to appear in person, Kathimerini understands.

The head of the panel, New Democracy’s Christos Markoyiannakis, spoke by telephone with Papandreou last week to ask him how he would be responding to a summons to appear before the committee, which has been undermined by arguments between rival MPs.