Varoufakis faces charges over ‘Plan B’ parallel payment system

Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis © Francois Lenoir
The former Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis could stand trial on charges of intending to hack the accounts of taxpayers. Greece’s Supreme Court has forwarded complaints filed by a prosecutor and a mayor to parliament.

Varoufakis can’t be charged now, as he has immunity as a member of parliament. Now, the parliament has to decide whether the immunity should be lifted.

Five different cases have been opened against the team Varoufakis put together to hack into taxation service files, including US economist, James K. Galbraith.
Now, a special congressional committee to examine the allegations may be assembled.

READ MORE: Varoufakis was ready to start parallel banking system by hacking Greek tax department

"It can all happen quite fast," Anna Asimakopoulou, a leading member of the conservative New Democracy party, was quoted as saying by The Times.
Varoufakis is facing charges of high treason and breach of duty, which are punishable with a prison sentence of between five and 25 years.

On Monday, the Greek newspaper Kathimerini published a transcript of a conference call Varoufakis made to international hedge funds supposedly run by former British Chancellor of the Exchequer Norman Lamont on July 16.

In the call, Varoufakis admitted he was preparing a parallel payment system in case the banks in Greece were shutdown “as a result of the ECBs aggressive action to deny some breathing space.”

To launch the system, he and his team had to break into people’s tax files in order to create reserve accounts. The government would have transferred the money in these accounts and given PIN numbers so holders could access the funds.

On Monday Varoufakis defended himself by saying he always acted in the interests of the people and said he was “completely against dismantling the euro” despite the allegations he was looking into the new drachma from the beginning.

Varoufakis also said the taxation department, the General Secretariat of Public Revenues, was under full influence of the troika of international creditors, of Brussels. He and his ministry couldn’t control it.

The European Commission reacted on Tuesday by saying that Varoufakis words were “false and unfounded.”

“On what Mr. Varoufakis has been saying, the allegations that the troika was controlling the Secretariat General of Public Revenues are false and unfounded. The Secretariat General of Public Revenues is a quasi-independent entity, responsible for tax administration, that is formally part of the Ministry of Finance,” said Mina Andreeva, a spokeswoman for the European Commission.