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Tsipras stays in a villa owned by a businessman on the Lagarde list

14 September 2015 / 19:09:07  GRReporter
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The holiday of recent Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras was the leading topic in the news last summer several times. The fact that he and his wife Peristera spent almost the whole summer in a luxury villa in the region of Sounion has also become the topic of the pre-election debate. And this is because it has turned out that the name of the villa owner is on the Lagarde list that contains the names of 2,000 wealthy Greeks with huge accounts in the Swiss branch of HSBC bank.

For almost the entire summer period the Tsipras family stayed in the villa of ship owner Athanasios Martinos. According to publications, Peristera Baziana organized in late August a surprise party for her husband and a number of guests on occasion of the famous August full moon. It is worth noting that SYRIZA has not denied the publications in question.

The villa in which the former Greek Prime Minister spent the summer is part of a complex of expensive houses that belong to ship owner Athanasios Martinos. The complex occupies an area of ​​19 acres near the sea. It is located at the end of a dead end, which makes it ideal for a relaxing holiday. The businessman often lends the luxury houses to those who wish to spend their vacation there or simply places them at the disposal of his special guests, reads a publication in the Greek online edition protothema.gr. It is noteworthy that Alexis Tsipras’ host is the father of New Democracy MP Georgia Martinou.

According to the same publication, the man who connected Alexis Tsipras with Athanasios Martinos was businessman Kostas Youtis. He is the owner of the luxury motor boat behind the wheel of which the Prime Minister of the time had stood himself. Youtis had posted photos of this journey on his personal Facebook profile thus revealing the expensive vacation of the left Prime Minister.

In addition to being onboard the motor boat, Alexis Tsipras was shot playing football with his selected company. protothema.gr emphasizes that the photos were taken at the beginning of July, when the country introduced capital controls and thousands of Greeks queued at ATMs to withdraw up to 60 euro per day.

According to the publication, businessman Costas Youtis rented the particular villa in Athanasios Martinos’ complex for at least 10 years but has moved to another equally luxurious house in the region of Legros. Some sources told the website that he had rented the villa at the expense of Alexis Tsipras. According to others, Youtis’ nephew George Kotaridis had done so.

The Greek media comment that the expensive holiday of former Prime Minister became particularly important from the moment when he put the Lagarde list case at the centre of his campaign. Alexis Tsipras did not fail to note in each of his speeches that those who had exported money to foreign banks without paying taxes on them would be brought to justice.

"And whoever tries to obstruct justice in its attempt to reveal the names of tax evaders that are hidden by the lists will have to give account of this to SYRIZA and to me personally. He will have to assume responsibility before the people's will that will be decisively expressed next Sunday," said Tsipras.

At the same time, there have been no answers to a number of questions, such as whether the rent for Athanasios Martinos’ luxury villa where the Tsipras family spent the summer months has been paid, and, if so, by whom and how.

It is worth noting that last Friday, four Greek prosecutors went to Paris, where they questioned former employee of the Swiss branch of HSBC Herve Faltsiani who revealed the scheme of money laundering and tax evading.

The Greek analysts comment that the activity of justice in the particular period may serve electoral purposes. Moreover, the Athens prosecutor's office announced earlier today that the investigation into the complaint that those who are on the Lagarde list had formed a criminal organization was in a very early stage.

In response to the publications in some media according to which the former bank IT-expert has provided to the investigating prosecutors the names of Greek citizens, including those of political figures, the Athens prosecutor's office has issued a message stating that it has never announced the names of the Greek citizens under investigation, as this would be a violation at this stage of the investigation.

Tags: PoliticsAlexis TsiprasSummer vacationLuxury villaShip ownerAthanasios MartinosLagarde listTax evasionCriminal investigation
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