Home Greek news economy Lagarde List Leaked: Greek Politicians, Big Names

Lagarde List Leaked: Greek Politicians, Big Names

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Lagarde List Leaked

A closely-kept secret by the Greek government – the names of 1,991 people who made $1.95 billion in deposits in the Geneva, Switzerland HSBC bank branch – has been released by a Greek investigative journalist and immediately went viral on the Internet, listing several politicians, an advisor to Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, well-known businessmen, journalists, doctors, lawyers and engineers, actors and civil servants – some of them working at the Finance Ministry.

The list contains also the names of three former ministers, of whom one died sometime ago. Also the names of owners of enterprises that have gone bankrupt. But also students studying abroad, pensioners and housewives.

Former Minister George Voulgarakis is on the list

The names were said to come from an original list given by former French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde – now the head of the International Monetary Fund, one of Greece’s Troika of international lenders – to former Greek Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou who said he lost them.

That prompted his successor, Evangelos Venizelos, now the current head of the PASOK Socialists, to produce a copy he said he had on a memory stick and set off an investigation by Greek prosecutors as to whether any of those listed had evaded taxes. It’s not unlawful for Greeks to have accounts in another country as long as they are declared and taxes are paid on them.

Greek authorities did not confirm that the list printed on Oct. 27 in Hot Doc, a weekly magazine published by investigative journalist Costas Vaxevanis, were those on the Lagarde list, given to Greece in 2010 as part of a longer list on a CD that came from stolen records from the bank, the reason Venizelos said he never acted on it, although Lagarde said other countries who found names of their citizens have used it to prosecute tax cheats.

Neither Papaconstantinou nor Venizelos indicated there were any politicians on the list and the government wanted the names kept secret as Samaras is proceeding with a $17.45 billion spending cut and tax hike plan while tax evaders who owe the country $70 billion have largely escaped Greece’s crushing economic crisis. The plan includes more pay cuts, tax hikes and slashed pensions affecting workers, pensioners and the poor while Greece’s politicians, rich elite and tax heats have been relatively unaffected.

The embarrassing release came only a day after Supreme Court deputy prosecutor Nikos Pantelis asked for Parliament to be briefed regarding any politicians on list. Former minister Giorgos Voulgarakis, from Samaras’ New Democracy Conservatives, whose name is on the list, said it was “disinformation” and “mudslinging” and declared via his Twitter account, “Neither my wife nor I have any offshore companies or foreign bank accounts.”

BURN AFTER READING

Not only Greeks but also name of foreign nationals are on the list – apparently having transferred money to HSBC from Greek banks. Hot Doc stressed that people on the list should not be considered tax evaders unless it is proved they did not pay taxes on the deposits.

But it said: “It is apparent that a large portion of deposits are not justified with the income of depositors. Proof is that most accounts were closed after the bank briefed on the data leaking.” Vaxevanis wrote that he had received the list content on a USB memory stick “by somebody” who wrote to HOT DOC that s/he “believed that the list has been misused for political and economic purposes for two years.”

The HSBC data were stolen by former bank employee Herve Falciani in 2007.  While countries like France, UK and Germany pursued tax evaders, Greece kept moving it from one place to another until Papaconstantinou said it was lost, and he blamed his aides and it became apparent that no politician wanted to get involved.

There was no immediate reaction from the government, which is rushing to finalize the new austerity plan and ram it through Parliament before a meeting of Eurozone finance ministers on Nov. 14 so that a pending $38.8 billion loan installment can be released.

The Hot Doc website stated:  “Our controls led to the conclusion that this is the list of Greek depositors to HSBC until 2007 when the leak started. So this list was identical to the Lagarde-List. But we cannot check if this is the (original) list received by Papaconstantinou or a list being formed later after the removal of some names in an potential attempt to hide evidence.”

Until now, one journalist said that he had no bank account abroad and a well-known lawyer declared that his family had transferred money abroad in the late 1980’ss to cover surgery expenses for a family member. Another journalist said he had no money abroad at that time, while a former New Democracy minister and his wife dismissed any connection to the list. While the Hot Doc list did not show how much money was deposited by each individual, that information was reportedly on the original list.

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  • Anonymous

    :….But also students studying abroad, pensioners and housewives.”

    Hey look… turns out it wasn’t only the “elite” and “evil bankers” who are stealing. Anyone want to bet that the vast majority of the people on that list were socialists and people that vote left?

    We have a choice. Listen to the patronizing far leftist pseudo-intellectuals that want to continue using our government as a  pig trough to parasitically feed off (that ended in our country bankrupt)… to continue listening to incompetent leftist fanatics and foreign NGOs/media that keep framing illegals as “immigrants” and calling any border controls “racism”…. (which lead to our country flooded with illegals.. while some of the countries of our critics deported illegals to Greece under Dublin 2)…. or make the difficult decision to move our values away from the left to a more central balanced view. (which is not the same as saying support XA either)

  • Anonymous

    With smaller government… there will be less for the corrupt parasites to steal (among, rich, middle class and poor alike), This it he real reason why Syriza is now so popular. Its supporter are all incompetent self-righteous parasites that want to continue their corrupt feeding frenzy while they have the audacity to lecture others about “corruption”. Communism is just another word for institutionalized thievery.

  • The maverik

    The names should be publishes so we know who are these looters of Greece’s wealth and of course our money…No second thoughts about this…We ought to know who are these people who stole our money and if proven guilty they should be punished with lengthy jail sentences and for the authorities to repossess all their assets wherever they are…

  • leventi

    The list shouldn’t have 2000 names on but 10 million names. Every single person in Greece has taken a bribe or offered a bribe at some point. Whether it was to get a driver’s license, build a home without the proper plans submitted ,do an illegal renovation, do an illegal demolition, pay a doctor for a service, pay a police officer to get off a speeding fine, bribe a beaurecrat to obtain a certificate or permit, slip a priest some money under the table for a wedding or baptism, bribe tax officer to pay less tax, give a politician their vote to get a job etc. I can go on and on and on.

    Every blogger on this blog and all the other blogs that live in Greece who point the finger at someone else is a hypocrite. The difference between some thieves and others is by how much.

    This is the true reality.

  • leventi

    You are ALL thieves and shame on anyone who takes the high moral ground.

  • Gamwtospitisou

    you are just an idiot who either never lived in greece or you just repeat stories u heard.I feel sorry for ur loss(i mean ur brain and your soul).There is a difference between a bribe and giving money to someone for a good service(like a tip,ever heard of that?u know if a doctor that saved ur father’s life gets 800 per month u might want to give something to show how grateful u are).2nd i can only bribe someone if i have the money,otherwise i wait on the queue.Ever seen queues in greece?Yeap,u know why?they dont have the money to bribe.My guess is that ur family has immigrated to some other country,u were born there grew up there,used to feel proud being a greek,not any more and u think and act like a Genitsaros(ma8e ti einai ….oxi san leksh,vlaka).3 i dont know if leventis is ur name but if it’s a nickname,u are a disgrace becaus after all leventis means having @@ in front and not in the back,ante gamhsou ilithie pou oloi ginotan etsi……..mono th mana sou plhrwnane re……me sugxhses prwi prwi bastardospore

  • leventi

    Your language is digusting and half of what you say does not make sense.
    Goodbye.

  • Anonymous

    I think that over generalizing but I would agree only pointing fingers at the rich, the government or the elite is morally wrong. It’s just populist scapegoating (which extremists on both left and right exploit)

    The fact of the matter is some of the rich, middle class and poor alike were stealing from government in various ways.  We shouldn’t turn our current mess into a corrupt elite versus “the poor” like the populists keep trying to do. its a corruption versus honesty thing.

  • leventi

    Reply to anonymous.
    Accepting that there is an endemic problem with corruption and bribery which is prolific and a cancer that has reached all levels of Greek society is the first step to solving the problem.
    As long as there are people like ‘Gamwtospitisou ‘ who are in denial,Greece will never recover. 
    BTW is he really allowed to use a name like that on a Greek forum?

  • Journalist

    People of Greece!  The need now is to save the life of the Journalist who saved the People Greece!

  • mathematics

    1,991 people who made $1.95 billion…
    1,991 people who made $1.95 billion…
    1,991 people who made $1.95 billion…

    1,991 people who made $1.95 billion…
    1,991 people who made $1.95 billion…

    1,991 people who made $1.95 billion…

    1,991 people who made $1.95 billion…

    1,991 people who made $1.95 billion…
    catch them – control them – punish them.

  • Hilon

    Η  Δημοκρατία είναι το  πολίτευμα , που δεν συζεί με σκοπιμότητες και υποκρισίες.
    Συγχαρητήρια!! διότι, εις τάς χαλεπάς ήμέρας τού σήμερον, πού οί περισσότεροι δημοσιογράφοι,γράφουν καί όμιλούν υπό συνθήκας ιδιοτέλειας , σήμερα , στην  περίπτωση αυτήερμηνεύουν  τήν άλήθειαν αυτής, προς χαριν του νεοσταλινισμού.Αντικαταστούν  κάθε κρατικήν αρχήν ,φασιστικά, κλέβουν  ,λίστες, τράπεζες,αστυνομικούς σταθμούς,που είναι ολοφάνερα,ένα συστατικό της κομμουνιστικής προπαγάνδας .Τώρα διαμαρτύρονται κατά του κράτους , που εμείς οι Έλληνες ,θέλουμε, με αγωνία και στερήσειςνα ανοικοδομήσουμε  απ’τα χαλάσματα  τών αναρχοκομμουνιστών.Τόσα χρόνια μας έχουν ριμάξει τα καταστήματά μας ,τους δρόμους,τις πλατεἰες και ως επόμενον , την οικονομία μας.Τώρα,προσποιούναι το θύμα , ομιλούσε   από το ραδιόφωνο , όπως λένε,ότι τον συλλαμβάνουν …….έτσι,για να δώσουν τόνο στην επανασταση, που  οι του νεοσταλινισμού ιδεολόγοι ,έχουν στο μυαλό τους.        Οχι, αυτή τη φορά δεν θα περάσει αιμόσταγές σχέδιό σας. Είσθε σε λάθος σκηνοθετική φορά , η υποκρισία σαςείναι ανεπαρκής,είσθε ανθέλληνες ,είσθε Φασίστες.
    Χείλων

  • Drzeus_gr

    Leventi my dear, it sounds like we really should elect you for PM. It is great to seee such truths … I really must tell my 88-year-old MIL that the reason her 330 euro pension is being reduced is because of all the bribes SHE (who only went to primary school) has paid whilst living in her little village of four houses in the middle of nowhere … I am sure that will comfort her this winter when she can no longer afford heating fuel. You really must put that tar and brush away.

    Yes he is allowed to use a name like that I guess, it’s called freedom of speech … whether I like what he says, or how he says it, or not.

    We don’t ALL pay bribes, we don’t ALL take bribes, nor do we ALL work without paying taxes; we DIDN’t all get credit cards and max them out, we DIDN’T all get loans we knew we would only just about be able to pay back in the good times. Some of us (the stupid ones history will show) kept saving our money in the national bank instead, hoping for a brighter day and better opportunity. Some of us continue to swim against the tide. Sadly, it is us that will continue to pay greater taxes in order to cover the deficit due to those who do not. Sadly, it is us who do not try to live beyond our means who will pay when it all comes tumbling down … our life savings will evaporate, whilst the debts of those who owe get written off. Sadly, it is us who the system systematically grinds through its wheels day after day. One wonders how long our moral fibre can last.

    It is true that Greeks, generally those in professions that can charge at will, frequently have the belief that everyone else should pay tax not them. Those with money do not seem to believe they should pay at least as much tax as the rest of us. It is ‘the others’ who should pay tax. That is a fundamental problem with the mentality of many Greeks. To give them their due, they have to deal with an ever encumbered bureaucratic system rules for which even the tax office employees cannot keep up with. There are rules that are beyond ridiculous – example, I missed the deadline for a submission of annual VAT summary done at the end of the year -  I went online to check its status, thinking I had done it, only to find I hadn’t. It was a summary … all VAT I needed to pay had been paid. So I filled out the form, sent it in (all electronically) and went to the tax office to see what the fine would be. If I had actually OWED them 100 euros, the fine would have been 1.5% of that sum per month overdue. So for the three months, it would have been a fine of 4.56 euros. Because I owed NOTHING, the fine was 117-1170 euros reducible (altho I have no idea on what basis) to a third of that!! So better to owe than to not!
    The tax system and the bureaucracy involved is so soul-wearing as to need a health warning.

    As regards health, I pay a large sum of what I earn for my pension and health coverage, knowing full well that if I have to go to hospital, and need surgery, I, or someone else related to me, will probably have to hand over an envelope with a large amount of cash if I want to come out of surgery OK. You would blow the whistle and be happy to take the risk that your dear mother would be fine under the knife of the surgeon doing her life-saving operation, the one who had just ‘requested’ 2000 euros and you refused? You have to live this kind of life to be able to see that it is not always possible to be morally correct when you are unempowered, when you know you will not find justice in the courts (he who pays most is right). You would remain morally correct but possibly without living relatives and unable to find a surgeon to treat you. It is a fact of life that money has power; you don’t have money, you won’t have any power.

    The list should be released.

    “students studying abroad, pensioners and housewives”
    What is wrong with that? The question is: Have you legally acquired the money and paid the tax due there on? There is no law saying a student or a housewife cannot save money abroad. My UK account has some money in it, but it is money I have earnt in and been taxed for here in Greece (and which i still B%%%%y well pay UK tax on too!). It does not come from backhanders and is not under-the-table money.

    The list should be released and the source of the monies determined. And those who cannot account for their money should be prosecuted, without discretion and without mercy. It is time that greed should be punished, because that is what the root of the trouble really is.

    As for you Hilon, you are clearly troubled – your mixture of language states that as bold as brass. Take off the political rose-coloured specs and see this for what it is … it’s not left or right, it’s greedy individuals and their buddy-buddy mentality that has brought this country where it is … GREED. How many damn houses and millions does one need at the expense of fellow countrymen? Human nature at its worse.

  • John

    Hunt the rich people today. 

    Tomorrow the less richer. 

    After that…one of you.

    Greek witch hunt!

  • John

    They should so we can can make a fire and burn them. 

    How much money do you make? So we know to avoid your house. 

  • lowtar

    I am a Northern Tax payer. Why should part of my taxes go to Greece? The Greek take their money out of Greece. They don’t trust their country or their government. So why should I trust Greece as a taxpayer and support a single cent being given to them of my money? 

    Why should I trust Greece’s ability or willingness to reform if even under international pressure Greece treats a list like this exactly ike everyone abroad would expect Greece to treat it: hide, manipulate, lie, cheat as long as possible (for 2 years) – but not investigate.

  • The maverik

    Greece is bankrupt because the massive corruption created by its corrupt politicians if you know what I mean…

  • leventi

    Please explain to me how your taxes are going to bail out Greece. In fact it is the other way around. The loans that Greece are given are being paid back with interest which is funded by the greek taxpayers. The more Greece needs to be bailed out the richer YOU get.

  • lowtar

    Private creditors have already lost 75% of their investments (net present value). Next will be tax payers. It is a question of time. Greeks make themselves the laughing stock of the globe when they claim they will pay back their debt. Greece cannot even pay the interest – let alone pay back any of the principal. Either Northern tax payers will pay though inflation (eg eroding the value of their pensions) or they will pay through write-downs. 

    Part of what infuriates so many Northerners is the audacity with which the Greek lie to themselves and to others about the situation. And lying to oneself  about it is the worst bit – because it keeps one from changing anything. 

    If you really think you pay the North: How about stopping the next installment? If you pay the North – then why don’t you just go it alone? I am sure everyone in the North will breath a sigh of relief.

    If you try, my suggestion is: You will find that Greece will be out of money to pay salaries and pensions within weeks. 

    Don’t forget you still have a primary deficit. Let alone will you be able to pay interest. Even even less you will be able to pay back the principal. 

    My prognosis: Greece is going to be another Southern Italy – that needs to be spoon-fed by the North for decades to come. Depressing prospect for everyone. The Greek –  and the North.

  • leventi

    There is no doubt the Greek economy is in tatters and entirely the fault of very poor management and corrupt practises. However, the creditors that you speak of have more than made their money back in interest for all those years they were prepared to give Greece loans which they new the principle was unpayable. They have factored into the equation the losses they are going to make. Your corrupt and parasitic greedy banking system in cohouts with corrupt Greek politicians have deliberately sucked Greece into this mess.
    I am not defending Greece. However, there is money to be made from Greece otherwise you would have thrown them on the scrap heap a long time ago.

  • lowtar

    Go check international corruption league tables. Of course there is corruption in the North, too. But there it says something that in the global “Corruption Perception Index” (check Wikipedia!), Northern countries are all in the top 20 – and Greece hat THE LOWEST ranking of all OECD countries – spot number 80. 

    So, it just is UNTRUTHFUL if Greeks try to equate their corruption with that of others. Thank God things are not everywhere as bad as in Greece. So, yes,some banks in the North are corrupt. But it pales compared to what happens ins Greece. 

    It is also UNTRUTHFUL if you claim that Banks have maid money in Greece. All private creditors have just lost 75% of their loans. One must have a very bent mind to then claim that they have earned money in Greece. 

    Of course, every lender factors in losses – 3%, 5%, 7%. But not 75%. 

    If I read your comments, I totally understand why Greece is not working.

  • leventi

    I wasn’t trying to compare corruption in both countries. Greece wins that one without a doubt.
    In fact I’m surprised they’re not in the top 5.

    The point I am making is that Greece’s creditors have made a continue to make money out of bleeding the country dry.
    But that’s not your fault. Greece has itself to blame.

  • Germanos Germanos

    Probably a few Golden Dawn members on the list as well.

  • Gordo

    While the wealth should pay their fair share, this problem is common to all EU countries.  Laguarde is trying to cover the banking fraud committed against Greece by diverting attention to tax cheats.  The majority of Greece’s debt is outside Bank  transferring their CDOs and other debts from Derivatives transactions onto the Sovereign debt of Greece. IMF is in bed with the Bankers.

  • Anonymous

    I agree not everyone is corrupt but its not a rich versus poor thing either. Its a corruption thing.

  • baracoa8

    What planet are you living on? We are living in capitalist times and suffering the consequences….the gap between rich and poor has widened to sickening proportions, the corporations rule the world, avoid taxes and they blame and punish the people who played little part in the crisis. If ever we were in need of a dose of socialism. 

  • Deb Daily

    We already are a socialist/fascist/marxist society; pick anyone but we are not by any stretch of the means true capitalist and haven’t been for quite some time. They just use the word “capitalism” as an excuse for fools who don’t know the difference.

  • Deb Daily

    Sorry, both parties are guilty. It’s a double edged sword used to confound and confuse the sheeple. Both sides within their own idealogy have systematically destroyed our sovereign nations.