Greece’s former finance minister should be prosecuted, lawmakers say

Former socialist Finance minister George Papaconstantinou at the Greek Parliament in Athens on January 17, 2013.

Seventeen deputies were absent. Addressing lawmakers before the vote, Papaconstantinou denied wrongdoing and said he was being targeted “for one simple reason, being the finance minister who put the country in the bailout process.” A council of judges will convene, probably later this week, to decide whether Papaconstantinou should face the criminal charges outlined in Parliament. While it is not illegal to hold a Swiss bank account, and there is no evidence that anyone broke the law, suspicions are high in Greece that some of those named in the list may have opened the accounts to avoid paying taxes to the Greek state. A parliamentary committee was set up last year to look into why no investigation was carried out under either Papaconstantinou or his successor as finance minister, Evangelos Venizelos.

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