“Lagarde List” of alleged Greek tax dodgers emerges. First prosecution: journalist who published it

Parliamentary Speaker Giorgos Voulgarakis named and shamed
Parliamentary Speaker Giorgos Voulgarakis named and shamed
Image: AP Images / Thanassis Stavrakis
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The plot thickens.

On Saturday, a Greek journalist leaked a list, he says, are the roughly 2,000 names of Greeks with substantial holdings in a Swiss bank account—the infamous Lagarde List. The list had gone suspiciously missing for two years after first being handed over to Greece’s then finance minister, Giorgos Papaconstantinou, by the IMF’s Christine Lagarde, then finance minister of France.

The missing list, which re-emerged earlier this month, is being investigated by Greek officials. They’re also trying to get to the bottom of why the people listed, possible tax dodgers with holdings worth more than a billion euros, were never investigated. It’s a strange fact considering how badly Greece needs the money.

On Oct. 27, an enterprising journalist, Kostas Vaxevanis, published the list in his weekly magazine Hot Doc. His list contains politicians including Giorgos Voulgarakis, the speaker of the Parliament and a member of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras center-right party. He denies having any overseas bank accounts.

Also on the list are Finance Ministry employees, businesspeople, doctors, lawyers, actors and some women identified as housewives, all of whom allegedly moved big sums of money into an HSBC account in Switzerland.

It remains unconfirmed whether the names leaked in the magazine are the same as the names on the original Lagarde list, but the leak has already led to one prosecution: Authorities duly issued an arrest warrant for Vaxevanis for violating the privacy of those listed. Vaxevanis wrote on Twitter that he has been arrested: