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Greece’s former finance minister should be prosecuted, lawmakers say

Former socialist Finance minister George Papaconstantinou at the Greek Parliament in Athens on January 17, 2013.

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Dominique Strauss-Kahn on austerity Greece secures bailout deal with Troika Because he is a lawmaker, Parliament has to approve the lifting of immunity before any prosecution can proceed. In a secret ballot late Monday, 220 deputies in the 300-seat Parliament voted in favor of the former minister being prosecuted for at least one charge, and 166 for all three. Seventeen deputies were absent. Addressing lawmakers before the vote, Papaconstantinou denied wrongdoing and said he was being targeted “for one simple reason, being the finance minister who put the country in the bailout process.” A council of judges will convene, probably later this week, to decide whether Papaconstantinou should face the criminal charges outlined in Parliament. While it is not illegal to hold a Swiss bank account, and there is no evidence that anyone broke the law, suspicions are high in Greece that some of those named in the list may have opened the accounts to avoid paying taxes to the Greek state.

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