Results of probe into 20 Lagarde list names due soon

Members of the Financial Crimes Squad (SDOE) and tax inspectors involved in an investigation into the so-called Lagarde list of Greeks with Swiss bank accounts expect to be able to announce results relating to around 20 names on the list in the coming weeks, Kathimerini understands.

To date, checks carried out on 25 savers from the list have only yielded the sum of 12 million euros.

During a recent visit to SDOE’s headquarters, leftist SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras said he was told inspectors had checked 500 of the 2,062 names on the list. According to sources, Tsipras was informed that even if the total of 2 billion euros in savings represented by the names on the Lagarde list is finally taxed, the revenue will not exceed 800 million euros.

Prosecutors overseeing the probe split the names on the list among 35 tax office officials but, according to sources, most of the inspectors do not have the time to check more than two or three cases every four months. One inspector told Kathimerini that the process is painstaking, involving checks on countless bank transfers between accounts, and often does not yield evidence of tax evasion.

A source at the Finance Ministry struck a similar tone, noting that many checks result in dead ends as the savers are able to justify their income.

Greek authorities received the Lagarde list in 2010 from Christine Lagarde, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund who was then France’s finance minister. For years virtually nothing was done with the list amid claims that successive governments buried it.