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Greek MPs vote to investigate Lagarde list

Jan. 18, 2013 at 8:10 AM   |   Comments

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ATHENS, Greece, Jan. 18 (UPI) -- Greek lawmakers voted to open an investigation into a former finance minister for allegedly tampering with a list of Greeks with Swiss bank accounts.

A total of 265 of 300 members of parliament voted to open the criminal investigation into ex-Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou, who is accused of removing three relatives' names from the so-called Lagarde list, the Greek newspaper website ekathimerini.com reported.

As part of the vote, the members of parliament voted not to include Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos, and ex-Prime Ministers George Papandreou and Lucas Papademos in the investigation, the BBC reported.

The investigation is part of a crackdown on widespread tax evasion.

The list of 2,062 names includes those of three people who were not on the list Papaconstantinou was using in his own investigation as finance minister -- his cousin, her husband and the spouse of another cousin. Papaconstantinou received his list in 2010 from his French counterpart at the time, Christine Lagarde.

The investigation will determine if the former finance minister is responsible for altering the document to protect his relatives.

Papaconstantinou denies any wrongdoing and alleges the allegations are part of "a crass and blatant attempt at incrimination."

He said he believes he is being made a scapegoat because he attempted to crack down on government corruption as finance minister, ekathimerini.com reported.

"I refused to do favors for a lot of people while I was finance minister," he said. "There are lots of people with whom I clashed."

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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