SYRIZA called on New Democracy on Monday to take a position on the inclusion of Stavros Papastavrou, an adviser to former prime minister Antonis Samaras, in the “Panama Papers” leak, revealing offshore financial arrangements of global politicians and public figures.
“We have to congratulate Mr Papastavrou on the wide range of his business activities which, according to data, extend from the Lagarde list to the Panama Papers, from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean,” said the governing party in a statement tinged with sarcasm.
Papastavrou, a lawyer, paid a 3.5-million-euro fine in February to avoid a criminal investigation into a deposit account at a Swiss branch of HSBC that was included on the Lagarde list. But he intends to appeal the penalty as he insists that the account’s beneficiary was Greek-Israeli businessman Sabby Mionis, one of his clients.
According to the Panama Papers, a massive leak of documents, some of which reveal hidden offshore assets, Papastavrou was a member of the councils of the Panamanian foundations Green Shamrock Foundation and Diman Foundation from 2005 to 2014. In 2006, he became the deputy chairman of Aisios Foundation, which still exists today.
The former Samaras adviser issued a statement emphasizing that he had no involvement in offshore companies or accounts. “The founders of the foundations had the exclusive management rights as the councils were not meant to have an active role in the administration unless the founders died, which is fortunately something that never happened,” he added.