Greek Whistleblower/Journalist Risks Imprisonment
Truth telling criminalized in Greece.
by Stephen Lendman
Doing the right thing is risky. Greek magazine publisher Costas Vaxevanis faces charges of violating state privacy laws. Potentially he faces two years in prison.
Press freedom and whistleblowing should be inviolate. Not in today's corrupt money controlled world. More on this below.
A previous article discussed a recent Tax Justice Network (TJN) USA report. It estimates up to $32 trillion of hidden and stolen wealth stashed largely tax-free secretly.
"The Price of Offshore Revisited " reveals what super-rich elites want concealed. Governments let them avoid taxes. Societal costs are huge. Ill-gotten gains are free to make more of them. Only ordinary people pay what they owe. Many pay too much.
A vast offshore industry operates out of sight and mind. Only financial interests running it and wealthy tax avoiders know what's going on.
The benefit of getting rich is being able to break societal rules to get richer. When ordinary people try they're punished. When whisleblowers expose potential wrongdoing, prosecutors victimize them.
Under Obama, it's truer than ever in America. Greece operates the same way. On October 29, Reuters headlined "Greek editor stands trial over Swiss accounts list, saying:
Hot Doc magazine editor Vaxevanis was arrested for publishing the "Lagarde List." In 2010, French authorities gave it to Athens. At issue is investigating 2,059 wealthy Greeks with secret HSBC Swiss accounts.
Whether they're guilty of criminal fraud or other financial crimes, remains to be seen. Many tax haven depositors have considerable amounts of questionable wealth.
Lagarde's List includes business people, shipping magnates, politicians, physicians, lawyers, architects, scientists, journalists, housewives, a painter, an actress, and others. How they accumulated wealth and why it's held secretly needs explaining.
Vaxevanis believes most on Lagarde's List are suspect. Many may be tax cheats. They may also be involved in other illegal activities. He told supporters:
"I was doing my job in the name of the public interest. Journalism is revealing the truth when everyone else is trying to hide it."
"Instead of arresting the tax evaders and the ministers who had the list in their hands, they are trying to arrest the truth and free journalism."