The ” Lagarde List “

Editor’s Note (Ralph Turchiano) Re-Post Request for cross reference HSBC and Panama files. Original Post date 28 October 2012

Engineering Evil : Authenticity Still Requires further verification

Being on a List does not imply guilt

Current Source Info:

Zougla

Keep Talking Greece

“Clicking on each image will open an enlarged image in a new window. This was done to make viewing easier.”
 
 

Athens bans protests for EU meeting

Athens bans protests for EU meeting

 

Greek police have banned protests in central Athens ahead of a meeting of EU finance ministers in the capital.

Demonstrators will be barred from areas including Syntagma Square, the focus of recent anti-austerity protests.

EU finance ministers are expected to sign off the next instalment of Greece’s bailout when they meet in the city later. Continue reading “Athens bans protests for EU meeting”

Anger in Athens as Merkel says Greece should never have been allowed to join the euro

Angela Merkel says Greece should never have been allowed to join the euro

German leader blames predecessor, Gerhard Schroder – and sparks anger in Athens

Nathalie Savaricas

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Greece’s former Finance Minister, who steered the country into the single currency, has chided Angela Merkel after the German Chancellor said the debt-strapped country should have never been allowed to join the euro.

“She [Angela Merkel] should be more careful in what she is saying,” Yannos Papantoniou told The Independent. “I don’t really think Ms Merkel really believes what she says – it’s part of the party games played ahead of [German] elections.”

Ms Merkel, pictured, has been on the campaign trail for weeks now as she battles to win a third term when Germany holds its general election on 22 September. Speaking to supporters in the northern German river town of Rendsburg on Tuesday, Ms Merkel criticised her predecessor, Gerhard Schröder, for admitting Athens into the single currency.

“The crisis emerged over many years, through founding errors in the euro. For example, Greece should not have been admitted into the euro area,” she said.

Mr Papantoniou, who served as Greece’s Finance Minister from 1994 until 2001 under successive socialist Pasok governments, pointed out that Germany – alongside France and Italy – was among the first eurozone member countries, to break the fiscal rules that regulate the common currency.

While Greece has often come under fire for the accuracy of its statistics, Mr Papantoniou rebuffed claims that the acceptance of Greece in the bloc was undeserved and that membership was approved on the basis of false data provided by Athens.

“Full answers have already been provided and have not been challenged,” the former minister said, attributing a numerical discrepancy to a 2004 change of accounting rules for registering defence expenditure.

As her political rivals criticise her handling of the Greek crisis, Ms Merkel’s Finance Minister Wolfang Schäuble inflamed her critics when he recently admitted that Greece would be needing another loan – albeit much smaller than the two it has already received.

Greece’s current Finance Minister, Yiannis Stournaras, calculated the cost of a potential fresh bailout at about €10bn.

The German Chancellor was quick to allay angry voters who feel the German taxpayer continues to foot the bill for Greece’s financial mistakes. According to recent polls conducted by the Forsa institute, Ms Merkel remains the most popular German political leader by some distance.

Ms Merkel’s campaigning has been focused on her successful safeguarding of the German economy while she maintained a tough stance over the euro crisis.

Experts say Ms Merkel’s recent remarks over Greece reflect her overall electoral strategy to highlight differences between her party and the centre-left political rivals that supervised the admissions of the euro members.

 

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/angela-merkel-says-greece-should-never-have-been-allowed-to-join-the-euro-8788435.html#

Poor English saved Japanese bankers during 2008 crisis: Aso

Politics Jun. 29, 2013 – 03:00PM JST

TOKYO  —

Japan’s banks emerged from the 2008 global credit crisis largely unscathed because senior employees did not speak English well enough to have got them into trouble, Finance Minister Taro Aso says.

Aso, who also serves as deputy prime minister, said bankers in Japan had not been able to understand the complex financial instruments that were the undoing of major global players, so had not bought them.

“Many people fell prey to the dubious products, or so-called subprime loans. Japanese banks were not so much attracted to these products, compared with European banks,” Aso told a seminar in Tokyo on Friday.

“There was an American who said Japanese banks are healthy, but that’s not true at all. Managers of Japanese banks hardly understood English, that’s why they didn’t buy,” he said.

Aso’s comments are the latest in a line of pronouncements that have raised eyebrows.

The one-time prime minister said in January the elderly should be allowed to “hurry up and die” instead of costing the government money with expensive end-of-life medical care.

In 2007, he had to apologize for a quip about patients with Alzheimer’s disease and for making light of flood damage in central Japan.

But the deputy prime minister, who is known as a dapper dresser and often seen sporting a jauntily-angled hat, on Friday boasted he had managed to keep his foot out of his mouth since Shinzo Abe came to power as premier in December.

However, the boast was somewhat undermined when he initially got the name of the prime minister wrong.

“I have made no gaffes in the past half year even as newspapers said the Aso administration’s… No, the Abe administration’s biggest problem is Taro Aso’s gaffes,” he said.

© 2013 AFP

http://www.japantoday.com/category/politics/view/poor-english-saved-japanese-bankers-during-2008-crisis-aso

 

EU bank bail-out talks – EU suggest stealing from the peoples Savings accounts of all 27 EU states.

EU bank bail-out talks deadlocked over saver protection

The European Union has failed to agree rules on who should pay in the event of a global banking collapse after eurozone countries clashed with those outside the single currency over how flexible the system should be.

Cypriots protest against the ratification of a tax on bank deposits in Nicosia on March 18

Germany wants to ensure the tax on savings that formed part of the Cyprus rescue in March is repeated in al future bail-outs Photo: EPA

11:18AM BST 22 Jun 2013

Talks in Luxembourg aimed at ensuring shareholders and bondholders bear the brunt of bank failures rather than taxpayers, failed in the early hours of yesterday morning after almost 20 hours of negotiations. They were described as “chaotic”.

The talks were split over how savers should be treated, with Germany and other eurozone countries insisting on rigid rules that would impose losses on those with more than €100,000 (£85,000) in their account. France and Britain, together with other non-eurozone EU members, want more flexibility to tailor action on failing banks to protect savers.

European finance ministers will reconvene on Wednesday in an attempt to break the deadlock.

“I think we can reach a deal if we take a few more days,” said Michel Barnier, the European commissioner in charge of banking regulation.

“We are not far off now from a political agreement.”

But Michael Noonan, the Irish finance minister who chaired the talks, said there were “still real issues, core issues outstanding”.

“It is principally an issue of the non-euro and the euro,” he said, adding that the gulf between negotiators was so wide there had been no point in continuing. One official at the meeting described it as “chaotic”.

Both sides of the debate are aiming to avoid a repeat of the bank bail-outs that cost taxpayers hundreds of billions of pounds between 2008 and 2011. Agreement is seen as vital to stabilising the European financial system amid continuing recession and political instability in southern Europe.

Earlier at the talks, eurozone financial ministers had agreed rules for how a €500bn central bail-out fund should operate. Non-eurozone countries will not be part of that system and when they joined the negotiations on Friday argued they should not be bound by rigid rules on who pays when banks fail.

Britain, France, Denmark and Sweden insist there should be more leeway to take account of differences in national regulatory regimes. Sweden’s finance minister, Anders Borg, called a one-size-fits-all approach “very dangerous”.

The German-led group sought to use the tax imposed on savers in Cyprus – part of the rescue of the island’s banks in March – as a template for all future bank failures across the 27 EU states.

German finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said the new rules should not vary because that could put some banks based in smaller, poorer countries at a competitive disadvantage. Wealthier countries could continue to prop up their banks with public funds, he argued.

Spain’s economic minister, Luis de Guindos, said agreement was vital. “What’s fundamental is there is agreement over the bail-in hierarchy and the protection of small depositors,” he said.

Mr Barnier sought to encourage a compromise. “We need a clear hierarchy for the bail-in while allowing flexibility for national resolution authorities – but it should be constrained,” he said.

Britain was represented at the meeting by Conservative Treasury minister Greg Clark. A spokesman said he remained hopeful of an agreement by Wednesday.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/banksandfinance/10136307/EU-bank-bail-out-talks-deadlocked-over-saver-protection.html

Cyprus bank restructuring deal should be considered a template for the rest of the single currency bloc

 

Dutch Finance Minister and President of the Eurogroup Council Jeroen Dijsselbloem gestures during a joint press conference after a Eurogroup Council meeting at EU headquarters in Brussels on March 25, 2013. Photo: AFP

Head of the Eurogroup of eurozone finance ministers Jeroen Dijsselbloem has
spooked global markets by saying the Cyprus bank restructuring deal should be
considered a template for the rest of the single currency bloc.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/debt-crisis-live/9951727/Cyprus-bailout-live.html

Greece: ‘Lagarde List’; ex premier Papandreou to be summoned

06 March, 11:35

(ANSAmed) – ATHENS, MARCH 6 – The Greek Financial Crimes Squad (SDOE) is examining details of the bank accounts of the three relatives of former Finance Minister Giorgos Papaconstantinou whose names were removed from the so-called Lagarde list of wealthy Greek depositors, and is to provide the parliamentary committee probing Papaconstantinou’s handling of the list with a report soon, daily Kathimerini reported. Once the committee receives the report, it will summon the relatives and also seek testimony from Papaconstantinou, the latter’s successor and current PASOK chief Evangelos Venizelos and former Socialist Premier George Papandreou. Former technocrat Premier Lucas Papademos is not expected to be summoned. On Tuesday the committee heard the testimony of Nikos Lekkas, head of inspections at SDOE, who reportedly refuted claims by SDOE chief Stelios Stasinopoulos that Lekkas had linked Papandreou’s mother, Margarita, to a 550-million-euro account on the Lagarde list.(ANSAmed).

11 EU countries okay transactions tax

Jan 22, 2013 20:18 Moscow Time

The finance ministers of 11 European Union countries supported the idea of a financial transactions tax at a meeting in Luxemburg on Tuesday.

The agreement is yet to be finalized, but the key principles have already been formulated – a tax rate of 0.1% on transactions involving equities and bonds, and 0.01% on derivatives, EU Tax Policy Commissioner Algirdas Semeta told reporters after the meeting.

Governments failed to agree to impose the new tax across the entire Union due to opposition from Britain and 15 other member states.

Voice of Russia, TASS, BBC

http://english.ruvr.ru/2013_01_22/11-EU-countries-okay-transactions-tax/

 

Middle-class Greeks to fork out over 40% of annual salary in tax: ” in order to qualify Greece for more bailouts”

Published: 12 January, 2013, 17:20 Edited: 12 January, 2013, 18:31

Athens passed new tax increases to boost revenue by US$3 billion to keep in line with previous commitments to creditors. The new measures limit family benefits and force the middle class to pay over 40 per cent of their annual salary in taxes.

Greek’s Conservative-led coalition has passed the new tax increases  to middle and high-income earners, self-employed and businesses.

The  new law increases the amount of income tax paid by those earning more  than US$26,000 a year, limits tax benefits for having children, revokes  tax breaks for farmers and increases corporate tax to 26 per cent from  20 per cent.

It also increased top income tax rate to 42 per cent  from 40 per cent for Greeks earning more than US$56,000 a year, which is  the higher-end of middle class average in Greece.

The new law  was part of an overall package approved past November in order to  qualify Greece for more bailouts in the future. It aims to save Greece  up to US$3 billion in 2013.

If the new tax changes would not have  been passed, then Greece would not qualify for more bailout money to be  transferred and the nation would have fallen short of paying its own  bills.

Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras stated in the  parliament that he had no other options and that the bill needed to be  approved.

“Otherwise, we would have had to have saved that 2.3  billion euro [US$3 billion] through salary and pension cuts,” he said.  “But we are making the savings in a socially just fashion.”

The  opposition argues that the changes would negatively impact Greek  citizens by putting more pressure on an already-stricken middle class.

But  the conservative-led government assures that the changes will lessen  the burden for salary earners and pensioners making less than US$33,000 a  year.

“We are not in favor of taxes,” Deputy Finance Minister Giorgos  Mavraganis stated. “But in the current situation we must lead the  country out of its impasse. Once we achieve stability we will proceed to  cut taxes and simplify the system.”

Greek’s financial crisis dilemma

Since 2009 when Greece’s economy began falling apart under its huge debt burden the country has become dependent on international rescue loans with a total of 240 billion euro provided to Athens. As of now, 149 billion euro has been distributed to Greece from the Troika of international lenders.

Just last month Greece has received another US$45.5 billion in frozen loans and now with the passage of the new tax bill it is on track to get another US$19.9 billion in the next few months.

Athens was forced to implemented harsh austerity measures to reduce deficit and bring down the debt level.

Trying to hold control of the economy at the end of 2012 Greece adopted a 2013 budget that involves 9.4 billion euro of spending cuts, mainly in state wages, pensions and benefits, all of which have already been significantly reduced over the past two years.

The decision resulted in strikes and protest across the country.

Tough austerity measures have also led to a drastic surge of  unemployment – in September 2012 it reached a record 26 per cent, which  is one of the lowest levels amongst the EU nations.

 

http://rt.com/news/greece-income-tax-increase-846/

Greek ex-finance minister expelled from party for nepotism

Dec 29, 2012 07:00 Moscow Time

George Papaconstantinou

George Papaconstantinou

Photo: AFP

 

Former Greek Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou, under whose guidance the country went de facto bankrupt and was forced to seek EU and IMF loans, has been expelled from his left-of-center party PASOK.

The ex-finance minister is at the center of a scandal after having allegedly struck off his relatives from a list of Greeks with Swiss banks accounts that authorities are using to investigate possible tax evasion.

Previously, Athens had received the original “Lagarde list”, which contained the names of Greek officials and their relatives – all of them major depositors of the Swiss bank HSBC.

After comparing the list with the one found in the Greek Finance Ministry, it was discovered there was a difference in four names – all relatives of Papaconstantinou.

Voice of Russia, RIA

http://english.ruvr.ru/2012_12_29/Greek-ex-finance-minister-expelled-from-party-for-nepotism/

 

Lagarde-List Leaked: HOT DOC Publishes 2,059 Names from Stolen HSBC-List

Link to the : The “Lagarde List” Just the names

Posted by in Politics

Monthly magazine HOT DOC managed the impossible: To get what it seems to be the content of the long-missing and infamous Lagarde-list containing the names of 2,059 Greeks who had an account in the HSBC bank, Geneva, Switzerland. More than 2,000 excel-files expose the names of bank account holders. HOT DOC does not expose the amounts deposited n each account, but just names and professions.
Among the Greek HSBC-depositors are famous businessmen and 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 (certainly not as desperate as one would think…).
However not only Greeks but also name sof foreign nationals are on the list – apparently having transferred money to HSBC from Greek banks.
Of course, the names on the list are not to be definitely considered as tax evaders. as it is not illegal to transfer money abroad – provided the amounts are not product of criminal acts and tax evasion. HOT DOC stresses on the issue:
“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.”
Magazine publisher and journalist Costas Vaxevanis writes,that he had received the list content on a usb-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 list was given to ex Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou in October 2010 by then French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde, now head of International Monetary Fund. The HSBC data were stolen by former bank employee Herve Falciani in 2007.  While countries like France, UK and Germany mad use of the list and invited tax dodgers to pay what belongs to the state, Greece had the list going from ministers’ drawer to ministers’ drawer for two years in an unprecedented Odyssey for a country that struggles with bankruptcy and where massive tax evasion is one of its “deadly sins”.
Just a couple of days ago, Papaconstantinou told the Parliament committee investigating the hot potato of Lagarde-List,  but he does not know where is the original list.  A couple of weeks earlier, ex Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos had admitted to have the content of the list on a usb-stick.
The original content given to Greeks on a CD has been copied on a usb-stick and apparently travelled from minister to minister and from prosecutor to prosecutor with the effect that nobody seems to know exactly who has the original data. Or “that nobody wants to give the names on the list” as the austerity-ridden and recession-hit public opinion believes.
Official Reactions
So far there is no official reaction to the publishing of the list. Neither confirmation nor denial about its authenticity. Although the files were posted on Greek websites on Friday evening.
Even HOT DOC clarifies that it was unable to ascertain whether this was the original Lagarde-List:
“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 can not 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′s to cover surgery expenses for a family member. Another journalist said he had no money abroad at that time, while a former Nea Dimocratia minister and his wife dismissed any connection to the list.
Prosecutors in action?
According to latest information, independently of whether the list is authentic or not, economic prosecutors are allegedly collecting evidence by cross-checking the names on the published list, the deposit amount and the income declarations of the persons involved. At least, of the most striking names. At the same time there is a cross-check as some of the names  appear to be relatives of former ministers and prime ministers.
Prosecutors will also have to investigate whether there was political intervention to hide the list in the context of covering up and intermingling between politicians and media. ”If such attempts are proven some politicians and state officials should sit in the court room,” prosecutors allegedly said.
Even though HOT DOC refrained from publishing also the deposit amounts listed next to name and profession, the money each one of the HSBC-account holders was indeed on Falciani/Lagarde list.
Although HOT DOC will upload the full list on its website upcoming Thursday, a news portal bought the print edition -on the market since late Friday-  copied the files and uploaded them on their websites. The spreading of the files through internet was then a matter of few hours.(news247.gr , newsit.gr, zougla.gr and others).
All Lists with Politicians to Parliament
On Friday, economic prosecutor of Areios Pagos (Hellenic Supreme Court of Civil & Penal Law) gave orders that all lists (Lagarde, Economic Crimes Units-SDOE) containing names of current and former politicians they should be sent to Parliament for official investigation. Also the names of wives and even minor children of politicians under investigation for possible ‘illegal enrichment” and thus since 1974

List of Swiss Accounts Turns Up the Heat in Greece

Update: The ” Lagarde List ” Linked Here

The New York Times


October 27, 2012
By and

ATHENS — The speaker of the Greek Parliament, several employees of the Finance Ministry and a number of business leaders are on a list of more than 2,000 Greeks said to have accounts in a Swiss bank, according to a respected investigative magazine. The Greek magazine, Hot Doc, published the list on Saturday, raising the stakes in a heated battle over which current and former government officials had seen the original list passed on by France two years ago — and whether they had used it to check for possible tax evasion.

Hot Doc said its version of the list matches the one that Christine Lagarde, then the French finance minister and now the head of the International Monetary Fund, had given her Greek counterpart in 2010 to help Greece crack down on rampant tax evasion as it was trying to steady its economy. The 2,059 people on the list are said to have had accounts in a Geneva branch of HSBC.

Questions about the handling of the original list reached a near frenzy in Athens last week as two former finance ministers were pressed to explain why the government appeared to have taken no action on the list. The subject has touched a nerve among average Greeks at a time when the Parliament is expected to vote on a new 13.5 billion euro austerity package that could further reduce their standards of living.

The publication of the list is likely to exacerbate Greeks’ anger that their political leaders might have been reluctant to investigate the business elite, with whom they often have close ties, even as middle- and lower-class Greeks have struggled with higher taxes and increasingly ardent tax collectors.

The magazine was careful to note that having an account at HSBC was not illegal or proof of evading Greek taxes, a point underscored by a spokesman for the Greek Finance Ministry. But the magazine suggested that Greek officials should check whether those on it had moved money into the accounts to escape paying taxes.

Hours after the magazine hit newsstands, Athens prosecutors issued a warrant for the arrest of Kostas Vaxevanis, the owner and editor of Hot Doc, “where names from the Lagarde list have been published,” the Athens police said in a statement on their Web site. They said he was sought on misdemeanor charges; the Greek media reported that the charges were related to violating the privacy of those on the list.

Mr. Vaxevanis, one of Greece’s most famous investigative journalists, said he was being wrongly targeted. “Instead of arresting the tax evaders and the ministers who had the list in their hands, they are trying to arrest the truth and free journalism,” he said in a telephone interview that was uploaded on the Internet and widely circulated.

The issue of the list has shaken the country for weeks, posing new challenges to the fragile three-way coalition government of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras. Above all, it put intense pressure on the Socialist party, a key member of the coalition, whose leader, Evangelos Venizelos, is one of two Socialist former finance ministers accused of not having acted on the information.

The finger pointing, likely to intensify with the list’s publication, is certain to distract Greek politicians during a week when European finance ministers are scheduled to discuss whether to release billions of euros in fresh financial aid. Greece’s lenders have long said that the country must crack down on tax evasion to be eligible for further infusions of cash.

According to Hot Doc, the list includes not only some in the government and businesspeople, but also actors, doctors, lawyers and architects. It also includes several women identified as housewives who the magazine said had moved large amounts of money to the HSBC accounts.

There was no immediate comment from Mr. Samaras, who was meeting with aides throughout the afternoon to discuss the new austerity measures demanded by Greece’s lenders.

Giorgos Voulgarakis, the speaker of the Parliament from Mr. Samaras’s center-right New Democracy party, denied having any overseas bank accounts and accused the magazine of mudslinging.

Hot Doc said it had been given the list by “one of the people who had received” it. Yannis Stournaras, the finance minister, sent a letter to his French counterpart several days ago asking for the original list, but so far the Greek official has not received a response, according to the ministry spokesman, who was not authorized to speak publicly. The aide said that the Greek Finance Ministry wants to be certain that it has the original list of names before investigating whether any tax evasion occurred. The magazine said it had called a sampling of account holders on its list to confirm that they had deposits in the Swiss bank. Citing privacy concerns for those on the list, Hot Doc said it had redacted how much money was said to be in each account, but added that some accounts were listed as containing as much as 500 million euros. The list dates to 2007.

The magazine also carried a long report on Mr. Voulgarakis. According to Hot Doc, the parliamentary speaker opened an account at HSBC in 2003 that was jointly managed by him, his wife and an offshore company based in Liberia.

The magazine said the deposits do not show up on Mr. Voulgarakis’s tax declarations.

Mr. Voulgarakis, a former government minister who was investigated but later exonerated in another high-profile corruption inquiry, issued a statement saying, “I declare categorically that neither my wife nor I have any offshore companies or foreign bank accounts.”

On Friday, the office of former Prime Minister George Papandreou denied claims that he had been aware of the list, after a member of the opposition Syriza party alleged that Mr. Papandreou had helped set up a meeting with the head of the Geneva HSBC branch in Geneva when he was in office.

Last week, former Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou told lawmakers that he had asked Greece’s financial crimes unit to investigate about 20 Greek citizens thought to hold large deposits at the HSBC Geneva branch after French authorities forwarded him the list of names in October 2010.

But he said the Finance Ministry’s legal adviser had warned that the list was a problem because a HSBC employee had illegally leaked it.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/28/world/europe/list-of-swiss-accounts-turns-up-the-heat-in-greece.html?pagewanted=all

Troika report on Greece could be delayed until US election: The Obama administration doesn’t want anything on a macroeconomic scale that is going to rock the global economy before November 6,”

An EU-IMF report on Greece’s debt could be delayed until after November 6, EU officials and diplomats say. The EU politicians want to avoid any shock to the global economy before the US presidential election, Reuters said. The report by the “troika” – the European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund – was expected before a meeting of eurozone finance ministers on October 8. “The Obama administration doesn’t want anything on a macroeconomic scale that is going to rock the global economy before November 6,” a senior EU official said. Greece will be kept afloat in the meantime by issuing short-term treasury bills.

http://rt.com/news/line/2012-09-21/#id37665