Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou on Friday referred to the timely issue of tax evasion and tax dodgers, while speaking in Parliament and in reply to a tabled question, stating, amongst others, that "there is a sense that the powerful and the celebrities are not being punished. This will end."

Papaconstantinou made the statement in response to a current question by independent MP Dora Bakoyannis concerning the case of publisher and television presenter Themos Anastasiadis, who was stopped at the Swiss-French border a few years ago with 5.5 million euros in cash and checks.

The finance minister underlined that the current government has nothing to fear as regards tax evasion issues, adding that the economic prosecutor’s office will be established soon to ensure that the processing of relevant cases will be sped up.

On her part, Bakoyannis stressed that the Anastasiadis case is long overdue, adding that questions have remained unanswered for the past three years.

Referring to the specific case, Papaconstantinou said the financial crimes squad SDOE is close to completing its investigation, while the imposition of fines will depend on its outcome. He added that the SDOE findings will be forwarded to a prosecutor, who will then decide whether criminal charges will be filed.