Draft law targets dirty cash

A week after the European Union said it will take Greece to court over its failure to tackle money laundering, the government approved yesterday a draft bill that will shut some doors to those legalizing funds from illegal sources. The draft bill will require more people who come across suspicious transactions to report them to the authorities or otherwise face severe penalties. «The modern methods used by groups that legalize earnings from criminal actions make the need to update the legal framework more pressing,» the Finance Ministry said. The initial proposals put forward by the draft plan earlier this year met with strong opposition from lawyers, who may be required to break their client-attorney privilege. Other changes foreseen in the draft bill include giving authorities more investigative powers. Last week the European Commission said it referred Greece to court for delaying laws on money laundering and for not adhering to disclosure requirements over procedures being adopted.