Justice Minister Miltiadis Papaioannou called on Wednesday on an unnamed MP who is alleged to have transferred 1 million euros to a bank account abroad to step forward or face the possibility that the government would reveal his or her identity.
“There is a need for the MP’s name to be made public,” said the minister. “It is best if the deputy does so on his own but in any case, the state will make every legal effort for the name to be published.”
Papaioannou made the comment after a public official revealed to a parliamentary committee on Monday that the deputy had made the transaction.
According to the head of Greece’s anti-money laundering agency, Panagiotis Nikoloudis, the unidentified lawmaker removed the cash from the country in May, at a time when authorities were appealing to Greek citizens not to panic and empty their bank accounts. The MP seems to have transferred the money abroad legally, Nikoloudis said.
The revelation prompted some MPs to demand that the colleague who transferred the money abroad be identified publicly. Six PASOK MPs were the first to submit an official request to Parliament Speaker Filippos Petsalnikos to name the lawmaker. Several other deputies later added their voices to those calling for the naming and shaming of the MP.
Deputy Parliament Speaker Grigoris Niotis said that the House would take the “appropriate action.”
Officials from Parliament and the Justice Ministry contacted Nikoloudis on Wednesday to ask him to return to the parliamentary committee and to provide the MP’s name. Sources said that it might not be possible for Nikoloudis to do this due to privacy rules.
The issue of MPs’ salaries and pension benefits has become part of public debate over the last few months. Also, on Tuesday Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos had pleaded with Greeks who had moved their money abroad over the last two years to bring it back.