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4 January 2013 – Presseurop Ta Nea, i, Hospodářské Noviny & 4 others

Socialist former minister of finance Giorgos Papakonstantinou has been accused of censoring the Lagarde List of tax evaders, while Alexis Tsipras, the leader of the left-wing group SYRIZA has denounced the role played by Evangelos Venizelos, the current leader of the socialist party (PASOK). However, as backing from Venizelos is vital to the survival of the ruling coalition government, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras intends to support both Venizelos and Papakonstantinou.

Ta Nea, Athens

Giorgos and Alexis unite them

Eurostat has calculated that in 2010, 16.1 per cent of Portuguese workers earned less than €3.40 per hour, a figure considered underpaid by the European organisation. Assuming staff work 40 hours a week, this means that more than 800,000 Portuguese people (out of a total of 4.98 million employed in 2010) earned no more than €590 gross per month.

i, Lisbon

Portugal has more than 800,000 underpaid workers, according to EU standards

The amnesty granted by outgoing President Václav Klaus to more than 7,000 prisoners, including several convicted for corruption, has prompted a wave of discontent in the Czech judiciary. Approximately 100,000 people have been denied reimbursement of any part of the money they invested in the privatisation fund that was misappropriated by fraudsters in the 1990s.

Hospodářské Noviny, Prague

Fraud victims lose hope of compensation

According to a recent poll, 62.5 per cent of Poles are against replacing the zloty with the euro (with 29.7 per cent supporting the switch). “The introduction of the common European currency would bring benefits but also commitments worth billions,” warns the economic daily stressing that Poland would have to support “potential EU bankrupts” like Greece with a sum equal to a third of EU structural funds received in 2014-2020.

Dziennik Gazeta Prawna, Warsaw

Can we afford to get the euro?

Hervé Falciani, the man who revealed information regarding Swiss bank accounts and European tax evaders, is collaborating with the Spanish authorities and is guarded by Spanish Special Forces. There is said to be €100bn stashed in Spanish-owned accounts in Switzerland and the amnesty to declare them to authorities in Madrid expired in December.

La Gaceta, Madrid

Panic among dodgers

On January 1, 1993, the dissolution of Czechoslovakia to form two independent states — the Czech Republic and Slovakia — was largely greeted with scepticism. In particular, there were doubts about the survival of small Slovakia. However, as Die Presse points out, the country succeeded. The Austrian daily also notes that Bratislava, which was a minor city in Czechoslovakia, has now become a dynamic fast growing capital. The development of both countries stands as an example of a successful separation.

Die Presse, Vienna

A successful divorce

President Vladimir Putin has issued a decree granting Russian nationality to Gérard Depardieu. In a letter addressed to the Russian media, the actor writes that Russia “is a great democracy, and not a country where the prime minister would describe a citizen as shoddy.” This was the term used by French government leader, Jean-Marc Ayrault, when Depardieu decided to become a Belgian resident for tax reasons.

Logo – Le Figaro, Paris

Depardieu affair: Putin’s snub to Hollande