Greece's parliament OKs probe of former finance minister
ATHENS — Greek lawmakers voted early on Friday to investigate former finance minister George Papaconstantinou over his handling of data on Greeks with Swiss bank accounts and whether he amended the list to remove three of his relatives.
The lawmakers voted in a marathon 16-hour Parliament session by 265 votes in favor and six against. With the three-party coalition government backing the call for an investigation, the motion had been all but assured to pass.
Two proposals by opposition parties for broader investigations failed. One had been to start probes into the handling of the data by former finance minister Evangelos Venizelos, who currently heads one of the coalition parties, and the other was to expand the investigation to two former prime ministers.
French authorities gave the list of names to Athens in 2010 as Greece's economy was imploding. Greek authorities then failed to investigate the data for potential tax evasion, sparking outrage at a time of severe salary and pension cuts, as well as spiraling unemployment.
Papaconstantinou insists he did not amend the list and contended during the parliamentary debate that he was the target of a vicious smear campaign.
“I did not tamper with the data,” he said.
The three relatives who were found missing from the list have since given evidence to authorities that the funds in the Swiss accounts were legal and taxed, he noted. The list of about 2,000 Greeks with bank accounts in Switzerland is part of data on 24,000 HSBC customers allegedly stolen from the bank by an employee.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Israeli strikes on Gaza, rocket fire, break lull
- U.S.: Russia has fired rockets into Ukraine
- Islamic militants destroy historic mosque in Mosul
- Costa Concordia completes final voyage
- U.S. claims images prove Russia firing into Ukraine
- Israel admits shelling U.N. school, denies strike intentional
- Ebola claims Liberian doctor; American physician stable
- Venezuela says ex-general sought by U.S. to be freed in Aruba
- Peace Corps volunteers pulled from Kenya
- When crosses are toppled, Chinese Christians fight back
- Gaza war rages despite Hamas, Israel truce pledges