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Papakonstantinou’s circle of friends

07 January 2013 / 16:01:58  GRReporter
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George Papakonstantinou, who is the prime suspect in the scandal with the deletion of three names from the list of Greeks with fat bank accounts in Switzerland, is a graduate of the Athens College, which is one of the most prestigious schools in Greece. According to To Vima newspaper, his schoolmates describe him as a quiet and not very keen student in his high school years, not demonstrating qualities that could eventually make him one of the most powerful figures in the country.

"He was not good with a ball or at lessons but he was good at theatre and participated in the college theatre group," say the people who knew him in his teens. The former number one financier of Greece is one of the graduates of 1980 of the Athens College.

His schoolmates of the graduates of 1980 were former Foreign Minister Stavros Labrinidis, Mihalos Agelidis, the financier and the head of Post Bank, until recently, Kleon Papadopoulos, the head of Titan cement plant, Dimitris Papalexopoulos, and Yiannis Taniskidis - the former president of Millennium bank, part of the management team of Laurendiadis’ Proton bank for a short period and a Drasi’s candidate deputy.

The adviser to the Ministry of Finance, Nikos Stylianidis, and the head of Lion Hellas, the importer of Peugeot, who owns part of the Minetta insurance company, Marfin Bank and the private Metropolitan hospital are other schoolmates of Papakonstantinou.

Although Papakonstantinou turned to the left political wing at an early age, the closer circle from his college years were partisans of right neoliberal ideas. His closer friends were Yiannis Taniskidis, Kleon Papadopoulos and Nikos Stylianidis whom he had appointed as adviser for the management of EU funds during his ministerial career. In addition to the company of the graduates of 1980, Papkonstantinou maintained contacts from an early age with the (now) old head of the state lottery OPAP, Christos Hatziemanouil, the former head of Post Bank, Angelos Filipidis and Makis Voridis, who was a member of LAOS first but then became the Minister of Transport and Infrastructure in the government of Lucas Papademos and moved later to New Democracy.

Ironically, this company, which consisted of the future political and business leaders of Greece, was known as "the circle of cynics" in the college years.

Papakonstantinou’s political and social rise was due to his uncle, Michalis Papakonstantinou, who belonged to New Democracy. With the right-wing party, the uncle of the little Papakonstantinou took several key positions in his career. He was the minister of agriculture, justice and foreign affairs. Since his two daughters, Marina and Eleni, were not interested in an active political career and turned professionally to law, Michalis Papakonstantinou decided to help his nephew to rise in politics. These are the same two cousins, ​​who would prove the cause of the political lynching of George Papakonstantinou in 2012-2013. The names of Eleni Papakonstantinou, her husband Simeon Sikiardis and of Marina’s husband - Andreas Rossonis, have been deleted from the list of potential tax frauds, the "Lagarde List," and the main suspect is their cousin.

Eleni Papakonstantinou began her career at the company for cement and construction materials, AGET Iraklis. After leaving the first major corporation, where she began her career, she started her private practice as a legal adviser on mergers and acquisitions of companies in the construction sector and not only. She was the president of the Harvard graduates and collaborated as a legal adviser with companies like Toyota, Philip Morris and Swarovski.

She met George Papakonstantinou through her participation in various non-governmental organizations and public initiatives. Later, she became a member of the management board of "S & B - Industrial Materials" chaired by Odysseas Kyriakopoulos. She married the financier Simeon Sikiardis, who comes from a prominent Greek family known for its charitable foundation. This foundation is now on the brink of financial collapse despite the large state aid it has received in recent years as Avgi newspaper notes omnisciently.

The last position occupied by Eleni before the "Lagarde List" scandal was on the board of the State Property Management Agency, which is responsible for the privatisation programme of Greece. With her name involved in the scandal, she resigned from the Agency, insisting that all funds in her name and in the name of her husband were legally obtained. After her word of honour, now it is the court’s turn to express its opinion on the matter.

Tags: EconomyCrime newsPapakonstantinouAthens CollegeThe circle of cynics
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