Friday, February 24, 2012

Greek MP criticised for sending his savings abroad

Financial Times
February 24, 2012

An unnamed Greek member of parliament came under pressure to resign on Friday for allegedly sending €1m of personal savings abroad, a few days before international creditors decided to back a second €130bn bail-out for the country.

Earlier this week, the public prosecutor asked political leaders to identify the person involved after a Greek anti-money laundering unit uncovered the money transfer, a court official said.

On Friday, the conservative New Democracy party urged the still unidentified lawmaker to stand down, saying “politicians must set an example”, fuelling speculation that one of its own deputies was responsible.

The scandal has highlighted the growing unpopularity of Greek politicians, both at home and abroad. The lawmaker, who apparently feared the bail-out plan would be rejected, plunging the country into a messy default and probable exit from the eurozone, has been dubbed unpatriotic by newspapers and fellow deputies.

Amid fears it is not an isolated incident, Evangelos Venizelos, finance minister, said on Friday that the Greek anti-money laundering unit would now examine all bank transfers above €100,000 to foreign accounts made in 2011 by lawmakers and their close relatives.


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