ATHENS – The head of Greece’s team of financial prosecutors, Marianna Psaroudaki, on Thursday has ordered a probe into Greeks named named in the so-called Paradise Papers, a set of 13.4 million leaked confidential electronic documents relating to offshore investments.
Prosecutors are to check whether any of those included on the list of names should faces charges of crimes including tax evasion and money laundering, said Kathimerini, even though they’re been poring over more than 1500 names on the so-called Lagarde List of Greeks who have secret Swiss bank accounts and been able to get little.
Prime Minister and Radical Left SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras said he would rein in tax cheats but the numbers increased after he buried Greeks under an avalanche of hikes on orders of international creditors as part of a third bailout, this one for 86 billion euros ($101.56 billion) he said he would never seek nor accept but did both.
Earlier, European Parliament Vice President Dimitris Papadimoulis submitted a request for a debate on the Paradise Papers in the European Parliament.
“The European Parliament must debate and adopt a clear position on the effort to fight tax avoidance and tax evasion by the financial and political elite,” he said in the request sent to Gabi Zimmer, the chair of the confederal group of the European United Left–Nordic Green Left (GUE/NGL) in the European Parliament.
According to the MEP, the recent revelations exposing a global tax evasion and tax avoidance system also reveal a “major problem with catastrophic repercussions on European economies and European citizens, who are call on to cover the taxation gap that arises.”
The chief of the Independent Public Revenue Authority Giorgos Pitsilis earlier directed dax officials to examine any Greek cases revealed in the Paradise Papers and to proceed with the necessary audits provided for by the legislation.
A furious New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis challenged Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to take him on instead of going after his wife over the papers.
“They can pick on me instead of my wife if they want,” Mitsotakis said. “I have told Parliament and Mr. Tsipras before that there is no shame in losing an election. There is however shame in trying to save oneself through mudslinging, with misinformation and vulgar statements,” according to Kathimerini.
Talking to his Radical Left SYRIZA lawmakers in Parliament, Tsipras said his coalition, which includes the pro-austerity, marginal, far-right, jingoistic Independent Greeks (ANEL) would look in the papers and the role of Mitsotakis’ wife, Mareva Grabowski-Mitsotaki, whose name appeared in a list of 130 Greek citizens with offshore interests.
“We are waiting for an explanation,” Tsipras said. “Whoever made it to the tax paradise will eventually end up in the hell of politics,” he added.
Grabowski-Mitsotaki appears to be the manager of a mutual fund based in the Cayman Islands but claimed, in a statement in the newspaper Ethnos, she had little to do with administrative aspects of the fund as she was not on its managing board.