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Greece: ex-finance minister in firing line over tax list

Greece: ex-finance minister in firing line over tax list
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Politicians from a number of parties are calling for the law that protects ministers in Greece from prosecution not to apply to former finance minister George Papaconstantinou.

Papaconstantinou, 51, who negotiated the country’s bailout in 2010, is accused of removing the names of three of his relatives from the so-called ‘Lagarde List’ – a compilation of hundreds of Greeks suspected of tax evasion.

All three parties in the coalition want an investigation into whether the former finance minister played any part in removing the names.

Papaconstantinou strongly denies tampering with the list, but some people are sceptical, such as Athens resident Michalis Louloudakis who said: “Of course no guilty person will admit his crime until he is found out. What he’s (Papaconstantinou) saying is a joke. For me, a modest person looking at this from the outside, I think that wherever there’s smoke, there is fire. Light must be shed and the scandals must be uncovered.”

Greek authorities have been criticised for failing to act on the list. It was originally passed on from France in 2010 by IMF head Christine Lagarde, who was French finance minister at the time.