Greek Parliament investigates former finance minister over 'tax list'

Former Greek finance minister George Papaconstantinou addresses the Parliament in Athens on January 17, 2013.

Greek politicians have voted to launch a criminal investigation into a former finance minister who is accused of tampering with a list of suspected tax evaders.

George Papaconstantinou has been accused of removing the names of three of his relatives from a list of Greeks with Swiss bank accounts that the then French finance minister Christine Lagarde, now head of the International Monetary Fund, handed over to Greek authorities in 2010.

It contains the names of two-thousand Greeks with Swiss accounts who may not have paid tax on all of their income.

The Greek government failed to act on the list until it was published by a Greek magazine last year, prompting accusations of a cover-up. Papaconstantinou has denied removing his relatives' names from it.

The BBC's Mark Lowen in Athens says the scandal has fuelled a growing hatred among struggling ordinary Greeks towards the political establishment, despite the fact that tax evasion is still widespread across the whole population, costing the economy about $20 billion a year.

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