LAGARDE’S GREEK LIST: Siemens and Venizelos in the dock

With the assistance of French banking codes, new analyses by the Greek department of Justice suggest very strongly that several of the names on the ‘Lagarde List’ of illegal untaxed Swiss bank accounts deposited sums received directly as bribes from German arms supplier Siemens. Athenian commentators are now asserting that Evangelos Venizelos is so involved in this scandal, he represents a bigger threat to the Samaras government’s survival than Alexis Tsipras.

Greek entrepreneurs Marios Katsikas, Panagiotis Voila, Sophocles Priniotakis D. Siafaka, Maria-Christina Makrodimou, and research and brokerage firm “Pegasus” head Rammos Athanasius have been fingered as depositing large sums into HSBC Zurich during October 2010, when the Siemens bribes to Greek officials are known to have been rife. In turn, there are alleged to be 17 instances of traceable organized crime money laundering, involving a total loss to the Greek exchequer of around €2 billion.

Sophocles Priniotakis in particular was widely accused during the Siemens scandal. The cypher through to the Swiss accounts looks as if it may have been the Bank of Greece (an institution itself that has been the subject of much criminal speculation).

The Siemens bribery case was closed in August 2011, when the Athens parliament concluded that there was no reason for further investigation or referral. Venizelos played a major part in this closure, but it’s now beginning to look as if he didn’t cover his tracks well enough after all. German paper Süddeutsche Zeitung writes today that ‘The opposition is not the biggest threat to the government or the plans of the troika. If the government falls it will be because the government partner and president of PASOK Evangelos Venizelos is a factor of uncertainty. He refuses to clarify his role in the falsification scandal [concerning Lagarde's List] of Swiss bank accounts. Former Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou is not willing to be the only black sheep who will go to jail…’

What Samaras fears now is that Papaconstantinou will ‘shop’ Evangalos Veryfatos. This would then drag crooked Germans back into the limelight….just as Angela Merkelopoulus is wrestling with a Cypriot bailout she may find it hard to sell to the Bundestag.

Lagarde’s List simply refuses to go away. Stay tuned.

Earlier at The Slog:  George Oddspawn may also be heading towards a Greek crisis

47 thoughts on “LAGARDE’S GREEK LIST: Siemens and Venizelos in the dock

  1. OOmbudsman criticises Commission’s refusal to disclose documents on UK opt-out from Charter of Fundamental Rights

    Reference: EO/13/1 Event Date: 10/01/2013 Export pdf word
    Other available languages : FR DE
    P. Nikiforos Diamandouros

    European Ombudsman

    European Ombudsman
    EO/13/1

    10 January 2013

    Ombudsman criticises Commission’s refusal to disclose documents on UK opt-out from Charter of Fundamental Rights

    The European Ombudsman, P. Nikiforos Diamandouros, has strongly criticised the European Commission’s refusal to give access to documents concerning its view of the UK opt-out from the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. This follows a complaint from the European Citizen Action Service (ECAS), a Brussels-based NGO, which wanted to find out why UK citizens do not enjoy the same fundamental rights as other EU citizens. The Commission rejected the Ombudsman’s recommendation that it disclose the documents, without giving adequate reasons.
    Commission refused access to documents without giving valid reasons
    ECAS lodged a complaint with the Ombudsman about the Commission’s refusal to give access to five documents, drafted by its services and concerning the UK opt-out from the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. The opt-out was a major issue in the intergovernmental negotiations leading to the adoption of the Lisbon Treaty and the documents were prepared by the Commission in that context.
    The Commission explained its refusal by referring to the need to protect both the legal advice it receives, as well as its internal decision-making process.
    After inspecting the documents in question, the Ombudsman concluded that the Commission’s arguments for non-disclosure were not convincing.
    Mr Diamandouros stated: “Public access to documents concerning how EU law is adopted is key to winning the trust of European citizens. I therefore strongly regret the Commission’s refusal to give the public appropriate access to documents concerning how one of the most important EU laws, namely, the Charter of Fundamental Rights, was adopted”.
    Despite the Ombudsman’s recommendation that it make the documents in question public, the Commission only gave partial access. As access to documents is itself one of the fundamental rights guaranteed by the Charter, and as the Commission failed substantively to engage with certain of his arguments, the Ombudsman concluded that such refusal constituted “a most serious instance of maladministration”.
    The Ombudsman’s decision is available at:
    http://www.ombudsman.europa.eu/en/cases/decision.faces/en/12439/html.bookmark

    The European Ombudsman investigates complaints about maladministration in the EU institutions and bodies. Any EU citizen, resident, or an enterprise or association in a Member State, can lodge a complaint with the Ombudsman. The Ombudsman offers a fast, flexible, and free means of solving problems with the EU administration. For more information: http://www.ombudsman.europa.eu
    For press inquiries: Mr Ben Hagard, Head of Communication, tel.: +32 2 284 26 09, Twitter @EUombudsmann an unrelated subject, have you seen this document:

  2. Oh come come, they are all swimming in the same cesspit, and they will all keep each other afloat, otherwise they all go down, and that ain’t gonna happen is it? Especially as Murky is looking for re-election, it will all quietly go away. Bet money on it.

  3. kfc1404, with parties as corrupt as HSBC and the greek government involved it may very well all quietly go away. There has certainly been very little publicity about the UK Lagarde list but with parties as corrupt as Osborne and Cameron in charge thats not surprising either. Heres to JW for keeping the spotlight on this issue, the more that comes out the more odium will be felt by politicians generally. which has to be a good thing.

  4. Never as smart as they think they are.
    -as long as the courts aren’t corrupted too, we might get a result for truth, justice, and the european way. (ok, stretching it a bit)

    • They don’t need to be smart, truth and justice have been on life support with nil by mouth for some time and they want to turn the machine off; the european way is what has brought us to here in the first place. The likelihood of any meaningful prosecutions in all of this has to be about as remote as Elephant Island was to a Viking.

    • The courts are corrupt. What might save the day is the troika’s persistence on salary cuts for the judges. But Greece being Greece, judges will probably bargain their way out of austerity.
      The joke’s on us.

  5. First comment of the year so Χρόνια Πολλά, Καλή Χρονιά. This is all over the greek media right now, and Benny is looking more and more implicated. Skai ran their news article over video of him cutting a huge new year’s cake – assume he ate it all… The travels of the USB “stickaki” (greeklish) are slowly being unravelled, along with several careers. Next exciting episode on greek news tonight!

      • @H
        Your depth of knowledge never ceases to amaze me…I studied German instead if Greek at Proper School: not sure if I should regret that or not now!

      • I was dragged up to be scrupulously honest….. copy, paste, google (to confirm my suspicions). Seems to be the same for Happy Birthday?

    • Alan: Χρόνια Πολλά – Καλή Χρονιά to you too and all Sloggerati.
      Should i change my name from Markakis to Stickakis then? – seems so trendy lately :-)

      @Hieronimusb: you got it right – it means “Merry Years, Happy New Year”. And yes, we use “Merry Years” also for birthdays.
      As about this girl – Mary Chrismas – that’s everybody’s been talking about over there in Britain and elsewhere, if she’s so popular, how come she doesn’t even have a facebook profile? Man….

      @Kfc1404: Situation is FUBAR and laughable, but you’re right – it’s not a joke any more. It’s the laugh of the few honest-brave, the team of crooks, and the many many desperate…

      • Merry Years Nick! Who knows what this one holds..? I have just watched, on the strict instructions of my mother.. who is familiar with my usual disdain for TV, a wonderful David Attenborough look at East Africa. They were having the worst drought for 50 years and the wildlife were engaged in a do or die battle to survive, losing large numbers. Eventually, the rains came and their ability to bounce back was deeply uplifting; all very moving and beautifully filmed. One wonders if there could be any metaphorical translation of that into our political and financial/economic culture… anytime soon… Is this the Mary Chrismas you had in mind?

        Mary Christmas
        Mary Christmas is a pseudonym of Emily O’Hara, an activist and a former …

        (hope that worked)

      • Evidently not.. this?

        Mary Christmas
        Mary Christmas is a pseudonym of Emily O’Hara, an activist and a former …

      • ….an activist and a former editor of $pread magazine, a New York-based magazine on sex industry workers’ rights?
        Not exactly what i had in mind – Well i did have suspicions that Santa has been going naughty in his early years :-)
        I do have some hope there there will be survivors after the rain. If it ever stops raining. From what i hear all around me in business circles, the prediction for 2013 is that its gonna keep pouring down on us.

      • It was a false flag attack to test the Slog’s anti-lewdness protocols which are clearly in place and working I’m much relieved to see.

  6. Pingback: John Ward – Lagarde’s Greek List : Siemens And Venizelos In The Dock – 10 January 2013 | Lucas 2012 Infos

  7. Just part of the political manoeuvring. I very much doubt it will go down to the point where anyone of consequence is prosecuted, especially on the German end. Of course it could slip out of control and there will be a need for scapegoats but I doubt even then it would be allowed to progress too far unless it gives someone a political victory, always dangerous as almost all politicians of consequence are contaminated in some way or another.

    “The Siemens bribery case was closed in August 2011, when the Athens parliament concluded that there was no reason for further investigation or referral.” Not any different from Blair squashing the the BAE – Saudi bribery case back in 2006ish.

    And don’t think for a moment that it is not still going on all around the world. The difference now is that it is not so blatant as simply stuffing a suitcase of cash in someone’s hand, although no doubt it still happens in places like Africa. Now shell and fake company chains routing through extra-territorial locations are set up so the bribee can ‘legitimately’ charge the briber for ‘services’ or ‘supplies’.

  8. I’m trying to think back a year or so. Does this not explain why there could never be an option to cancel the Greek Submarines or write off their cost and the debts incurred ? Siemans might have asked for their bribe money back if the whole deal fell apart ! I would be delighted to see all this lot in the dock….if the Greek defence contracts had been cancelled or written off, Greece would be in a massivly better situation and the people would not be starving or freezing in the snow.

    So far as Cyprus is concerned, I think the real fun ‘n games may be Auntie Chrissy demanding PSI haircuts from Cypriot Bonds and therefore Cypriot Banks before her third of the Troika plays ball with any bale outs. Watching a US backed IMF trying to Crew-cut Russian Oliagaths lil black market stashes in zombie Cypriot banks should be the first really interesting play in 2013…..its all been terribly quiet and boring so far.

    007….we may have a little job for you…..! ;)

  9. Vaguely (well, completely) off-topic but;
    Confirmation it would seem that Plod have finally scraped the bottom of the “celeb-paedo” barrel.

    With that task complete, maybe they might finally look a closer look at the nonces in Government… ?

  10. Under the “bare-faced-cheek” category, just seen Benny on the TV news again. Speaking in the greek parliament, he blamed SYRIZA for leaking the USB “stickaki”.

    We’ve also got the public prosecutor’s office saying they don’t need assistance from the police computer crime department. Make of that what you will.

    I suspect the journalist Kostas Vaxevanis may come into this story again. The greek justice system pounced on him with unbelievable speed after he published the list, which happened to be missing the 3 names for Papaconstaninou’s relatives. His copy is said to be from August 2010. (although Πρωτο Θεμα newspaper published a handy guide on changing file datestamps and metadata today, for those who may need to do such things)

    My greek neighbours all have one simple word for their politicians – κλεφτές – thieves.

    Alan (whose greek reading speed is struggling to keep up with events)

    • Sounds about right, move the focus away from the fact that he IS a crim to HOW it came to be revealed. Go short on messenger mortality rates.

  11. If I were to become Dictator of Greece the first thing I would do would be to appoint an Executioner. Applications are now open . . . . . .

  12. Why no one comment yesterday’s show of Mr Kisiadis(I watched on Antenna TV) where he said that the amount which the Greek politics hold in Swiss banks is about €400 Billions?
    Deeply corrupted media in Greece is hiding the news again…

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