‘Lagarde list’ has 490 names, Minister tells MPs
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.