ATHENS Nov 15 Greece's government has asked
Britain for information on Greeks holding HSBC bank
accounts on the island of Jersey, as part of the near-bankrupt
country's push to crack down on tax evasion.
The move comes after Britain's Daily Telegraph newspaper
reported it had been handed leaked data that identified over
8,000 people with HSBC accounts in Jersey, including celebrities
British tax authorities and Jersey's financial watchdog are
both conducting probes related to the report.
In a statement, Greece's finance ministry said Finance
Minister Yannis Stournaras had formally asked his British
counterpart for information on Greek citizens or Greek-based
individuals with HSBC accounts in Jersey.
Greece's financial prosecutors want to investigate whether
97 Greek citizens - estimated to hold deposits worth 22.3
million euros - included in that list are tax evaders, court
officials have said.
Tax authorities globally are stepping up efforts to uncover
people hiding wealth in offshore accounts. Rampant tax evasion
is a particularly sore subject in Greece, where anger at a
wealthy elite is rising among austerity-hit Greeks reeling from
waves of spending cuts imposed by EU and IMF lenders.
Last month a Greek magazine published the names of more than
2,000 Greeks with HSBC accounts in Switzerland, drawing great
attention in Greece and prompting authorities to put the
magazine's editor on trial for violating privacy law. He was