‘La­garde list’ has 490 names, Min­is­ter tells MPs

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

The so-called “La­garde list” of Cypriot in­di­vid­u­als and com­pa­nies with de­posits in the Swiss branch of HSBC bank, as re­ceived by the Cypriot author­i­ties from France, con­tains 490 names, Fi­nance Min­is­ter Harris Ge­or­giades told the Par­lia­ment, adding that the gov­ern­ment is de­ter­mined to deal with this is­sue.

The is­sue was dis­cussed in a joint ses­sion of the Par­lia­men­tary Public Ex­pen­di­ture Con­trol and the Ways and Means Com­mit­tee in the pres­ence of Ge­or­giades and Tax Com­mis­sioner Yian­nakis Lazarou.

Ge­or­giades noted that the data in­cluded in the list re­fer to de­posit bal­ances from De­cem­ber 2005 to De­cem­ber 2006. He noted that the nat­u­ral per­sons are Cypri­ots na­tion­als or per­sons un­der a Cypriot ad­dress, while there are nat­u­ral per­sons or com­pa­nies that are as­so­ci­ated with more than one ac­count.

“These are un­pro­cessed data that have been re­ceived by the Tax Depart­ment and will be ex­am­ined one by one,” Ge­or­giades added, not­ing that this in­cluded in the high risk cat­e­gory.”

The Fi­nance Min­is­ter added that at the in­struc­tions of the Tax Com­mis­sioner, the tax author­i­ties be­gan to in­ves­ti­gate these data, adding the process will de­ter­mine the pos­si­ble rev­enue for the state cof­fers due to out­stand­ing taxes.

Re­ply­ing to ques­tions from MPs, Ge­or­giades did not over­rule the pos­si­bil­ity the list to be of­fi­cially sub­mit­ted to par­lia­ment, pro­vided that the leg­is­la­ture sub­mit a de­tailed re­quest. “When an of­fi­cial re­quest is sub­mit­ted by par­lia­ment, we will look into it and we will en­gage the At­tor­ney-Gen­eral, but the list should not be po­lit­i­cally ex­ploited,” he said.

On his part, Tax Com­mis­sioner Lazarou told par­lia­ment that the author­i­ties have the ca­pac­ity to in­ves­ti­gate the list but they would re­quest ex­pert as­sis­tance should prob­lems arise. He said the tax can be im­posed ret­ro­spec­tively for up to 12 years.

list “with­out a doubt is

Mean­while, the Com­mit­tees mem­bers said they will for­mally re­quest the list to be sub­mit­ted to the Pres­i­dent of the House in or­der to pre­vent any sus­pi­cion that the list may be al­tered.

Com­mit­tee Chair­man Ni­cos Ni­co­laides said there was a sig­nif­i­cant and un­ac­cept­able de­lay on be­half of the gov­ern­ment to ob­tain the list.

Rul­ing Demo­cratic Rally MP An­dreas Kypri­anou pointed out there should not be ex­ces­sive ex­pec­ta­tions in the public with re­gard to the list as these data con­cern de­posits of a par­tic­u­lar pe­riod in just one bank. He also said in case the list con­tains po­lit­i­cally ex­posed per­sons these names should be pub­lished. On his part, op­po­si­tion AKEL MP Aris­tos Dami­anou said Par­lia­ment should not sub­sti­tute the tax author­i­ties but should ex­ert po­lit­i­cal pres­sure so that this is­sue can­not be cov­ered up.

Mar­ios Garoyian of DIKO re­mov­ing names from the list.

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