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Parliament made public the assets of Greek politicians but did not announce how they got them

21 December 2011 / 21:12:34  GRReporter
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For the first time in the history of the Greek Parliament, the control commission has found serious gaps and undeclared cash transfers in the deputies’ income statements for the 2009 fiscal year.

However, Greek media comment that the commission did not use all legal options to investigate in detail the change in deputies’ property status. As a result, it is not clear what happened to the amounts of 100,000 to 400,000 euro, which fifteen deputies have withdrawn from their bank deposits. Four of them explained that the substantial reduction was due to the amounts invested in the purchase of real estate.

The remaining eleven members have not submitted any documents to justify their reduced deposits. This has raised doubts about the transferal of the money to Swiss banks because a large transfer of capital abroad was registered in 2009 due to the crisis. The commission has refused to disclose the names of the deputies, saying verification is first necessary.

Transferring money to Switzerland is not a crime, but it is illegal if it is not mentioned in the tax return. "If someone is found to have even only 100 euro in a Swiss bank without having declared this, it will be considered a violation of law," said the chairman of the commission and third Vice-President of Parliament Evangelos Argyris. He added that the presence of deposits in Switzerland is not stated in any of the deputies’ tax returns.

At the same time, the commission defined as "insincere" the declaration of former PASOK minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos. Accountants found violations in his property declaration after the cancellation of banking and tax confidentiality and the ban on announcing the participation on the stock exchange. In their opinion, the income declared by the former Minister of Defence and leadership contender in PASOK does not justify the large and expensive properties owned by him and his wife. In response, Akis Tsohatzopoulos issued a written message in which he determined the findings of the commission as a conspiracy against him.

The richest among the leaders of the Greek political parties remains the far-right LAOS President George Karatzaferis. He declared 102,000 euro from his deputy compensation and 165,000 euro as revenue from his TV company. His deposits and those of his wife amount to 72,000 euro. He has two cars and an inflatable boat for six people.

The President of New Democracy Antonis Samaras declared 217,000 euro from his deputy compensation and revenue from other sources. His wife, Georgia Samara, who is an engineer, declared income to the amount of 54,000 euro. In 2009, he sold 50 per cent of the apartment on Mourouzi Street in the expensive part of central Athens for 79,000 euro. The leader of the "blue" and his wife hold shares of a shipping company and have total deposits amounting to 307,000 euro and 4,000 British pounds.

The recent Prime Minister of Greece George Papandreou and his wife Ada have total deposits amounting to 81,000 euro and a car purchased in 1996. His wife owns assets of Alpha Bank of total nominal value 228,000 euro. They own a house in the expensive Athens suburb of Nea Erithrea and an apartment in Patras.

The chairwoman of Democratic Alliance Dora Bakogiannis declared 100,000 euro from deputy compensation and other revenue amounting to 30,000 euro. Her husband – the businessman Isidoros Kouvelos – declared income of 273,000 euro. They are the owners of significant real estate and in 2009, they invested 72,000 euro for the construction of an office and the acquisition of two properties in the coastal suburb of Glyfada in the form of parental contribution. Dora Bakogiannis and her husband dispose of an impressive investor package. It includes bonds of Alpha Bank to the amount of 123,000 euro, shares of assets worth 27,000 euro and shares in various banks totalling 170,000 euro. In 2009, Isidoros Kouvelos bought shares worth over two million dollars and sold National Bank of Greece shares worth 560,000 dollars abroad.

The chairman of the Democratic Left Fotis Kouvelis declared income to the amount of 93,000 euro from his deputy compensation and 2,000 euro from other sources. He and his wife own an apartment with a basement in Athens and agricultural fields on the island of Evia and in the Argolis area. Their bank deposits amount to 436,000 euro; they hold shares worth 35,000 euro and have three cars.

The leader of the far-left coalition SYRIZA Alexis Tsipras declared income to the amount of 23,000 euro from deputy compensation and 25,000 euro from other sources. The Chief Secretary of the Communist Party Aleka Papariga declared 92,000 euro from deputy compensation and 43,000 euro from other sources received in 2009.

It is worth noting that the deputies’ declarations were published on the website of the Parliament for the first time. The data have sparked the interest of thousands of Greeks, but they again will not find out how the deputies have acquired their property.

Tags: PoliticsParliamentDeputiesProperty declarationsPolitical leadersDepositsSwitzerlandControl commission
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