ATHENS, Jan. 10 (Xinhua) -- Greek former Mercantile Marine and Public Order Minister George Voulgarakis joined the widening list faced with parliamentary and judicial probes over the Lagarde list with possible major tax dodgers, as new data regarding the case emerged on Thursday.
A parliamentary committee decided that Voulgarakis, a member of the conservative New Democracy party leading the current coalition government, should face judicial inquiry, because he had not declared to the Tax Office his spouse's bank account in Switzerland.
Her name appeared on the so-called Lagarde list amongst over 2,000 Greeks with major deposits in an HSBC bank branch in Geneva, as well as the name of the spouse of socialist former Finance and Defense Minister Yannos Papantoniou.
A decision on Papantoniou's case is due next week, as the parliament's plenary will vote on proposals to set up similar special investigative committees to decide whether to refer to judicial authorities for breach of duty or poor management of the list former Finance Ministers George Papaconstantinou and Evangelos Venizelos and former premiers George Papandreou and Lucas Papademos.
The political storm which erupted in Athens last October with media reports that for over two years Greek officials failed to use the list former French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde is said to have given in 2010 to her then Greek counterpart Papaconstantinou in the framework of efforts to address tax evasion in Greece, intensifies.
On Thursday, the Greek magazine Hot Doc which first published an alleged copy of the list last autumn, claimed that its editor Costas Vaxevanis submitted to judicial authorities a USB stick which reveals that Greek officials received the data from France earlier than initially said.
According to media reports, the USB shows that the Lagarde list was copied to the device in early August 2010. Papaconstantinou has testified before a parliamentary committee that he received the data in October 2010.
The former minister is a key suspect for the alleged doctoring of the list, after a preliminary judicial investigation showed that the names of two of his relatives with major deposits in Geneva were deleted from the data he passed on to his successors, when he left his post in June 2011.
The case is further complicated by other leads showing that there could be several USB sticks created ever since by Greek state officials, according to judicial sources.
In any case, protesting Greek citizens who suffer from harsh austerity imposed to avoid a default since 2010, want to see some officials responsible for shielding major tax dodgers or failing to tackle the problem be brought before justice.
It is estimated that tax evasion and shadow economy cost debt-laden Greece for years approximately a quarter of its GDP annually.
Ahead of a key vote in parliament on Friday on a new tax bill which will add more burden on taxpayers to raise revenues and overcome the crisis, the government is to submit a supplementary draft aiming to crack down on tax evasion, which allows authorities to "freeze" the assets of major debtors, it was announced on Thursday.