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Greek Government Backs Probe of Ex-Minister Over Lagarde List

Greece’s government proposed that a parliamentary panel look into allegations that former finance minister George Papaconstantinou removed relatives’ names from a list of Greeks with deposits in Switzerland, according to a faxed copy of the proposal received today.

The so-called “Lagarde list” is an electronic file of 2,062 people with deposits in Swiss branches of HSBC Holdings Plc that was given to the government in 2010 by France’s then-finance minister, Christine Lagarde. Handling of the list has drawn criticism both from opposition parties and from lawmakers in Prime Minister Antonis Samaras’s coalition.

A majority of Greece’s 300 lawmakers will have to vote in favor of the government’s proposal for a parliamentary panel to be set up. Syriza, the main opposition party, has said it will propose a committee with a wider remit.

Papaconstantinou, who pushed through Greece’s first bailout by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund in 2010, denied reports on Dec. 28, by Skai TV among others, that he had tampered with the list. According to the reports, the names of three people related to Papaconstantinou were removed.

All three parties in Samaras’s coalition support the setting up of a committee, government spokesman Simos Kedikoglou said in an e-mailed statement. Pasok, which supports the government, expelled Papaconstantinou from the party after the reports.

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