In Greece just a little tax justice has been done

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I am delighted that Kostas Vaxevanis has been found not guilty in his trial in Greece where he was accused of breaking data privacy laws by publishing the names in Hot Doc, the weekly magazine he edits, of some 2,059 Greeks believed to have bank accounts in Switzerland.

I wrote for the Guardian on this issue a few days ago. When doing so I argued that the issue was not what Vaxevanis had done, but what was being done with the information that the leaks from Switzerland had revealed, and why inaction appeared to be the order of the day on that.

Well, it looks like Vaxevanis will have his day on that. As the FT reports:

Greece’s parliament has been asked to investigate why two former finance ministers did not pursue possible tax evaders on the so-called “Lagarde list” of 2,000 Greeks with Swiss bank accounts.

George Papaconstantinou and his successor Evangelos Venizelos, who held the finance portfolio from September 2009 until June this year, could face charges of criminal negligence if parliament referred them for trial, according to legal experts.

There may be tax justice after all.

And what's at stake? The FT says some £2.5 billion. That's a lot less than my estimate of €19.6bn tax evasion in Greece a year, but it's a useful start.