Greek party expels two members

A combination of pictures shows ousted Greek lawmakers Odysseas Voudouris (right) and Paris Moutsinas in the country’s parliament. (file photo)

Greece’s Democratic Left coalition party (DIMAR) has expelled two parliamentary members after they supported an investigation into a ruling party leader’s alleged mishandling of a list of possible tax evasions in the recession-hit country.

According to a statement, issued by the DIMAR on Monday, Odysseas Voudouris and Paris Moutsinas were expelled from the parliamentary group since they had backed a call by the main opposition Radical Left SYRIZA party to look into the role Evangelos Venizelos played in a tax evasion scandal.

“What is now clear is that the two deputies not only express a different opinion but also support a different political plan,” the statement added.

According to reports, the expulsions left the Democratic Left with 14 deputies in the 300-seat parliament. The move also left Greece’s ruling coalition with only 164 seats.

This comes after Syriza called on the parliament to set up a parliamentary committee to investigate the tax evasions reported in a list produced by French officials in 2010, saying that the former Finance Minster Evangelos Venizelos and George Papaconstantinou, the finance minister in 2010, when the list was handed over to the Greek government, had done little to crack down on tax evasion by the wealthy Greek elites.

French authorities, including Christine Lagarde (now the managing director of the International Monetary Fund) gave the Greek government the list containing 2,000 names of potential Greek tax evaders who held accounts at the Geneva branch of the HSBC bank in Switzerland.

Reports say that the list had been transferred to Papakonstantinou, but it was made public in 2012.

Syriza members say Papaconstantinou hid the list since it catalogued accounts linked to his relatives.