OPINION

The difference a few names make

In terms of numbers, there are very few differences between the old list of Greek depositors at the HSBC branch in Geneva and the new one sent to Athens by the French authorities. However, the importance of the information provided by the two lists is great indeed.

The reason why the difference of four names appearing on the second list is significant is that they appear to belong to relatives of Giorgos Papaconstantinou, the former finance minister who received the original list. Considering the way he handled the list after receiving it two years ago, the fact that these names were not on the list leaked to the media in October will have serious legal, moral and political implications for the former finance minister.

Even worse than the cost these revelations may have on him personally and on his career is the effect they have had on the political system as a whole, and this is something that he will never be able to shake off if he fails to give a reasonable explanation for his actions.