Greece Must Continue Anti-Corruption Fight, Official Warns



Gianluca Esposito, of the Council of Europe

Greece has been advised to clean up its act on corruption and transparency by the Council of Europe.

In particular, the Greek government needs to tighten up its rules on party-political funding, lobbying and relationships between the judicial and executive branches.

In an interview with the Reuters news agency on Thursday, the head of the Council of Europe’s Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) said although things had improved, there was still work to be done.

Referring to the economic crisis, Gianluca Esposito was quoted as saying: “I think corruption has had an impact, has contributed to getting where we are and into a situation where the economy was struggling.”

“That was a long time ago. Things have now certainly improved. The key is not to stop in the middle, but to continue on the reform process.”

Earlier this month, GRECO released two reports on corruption prevention in parliament and the judiciary said only six out of 19 recommendations had been met.

Although it praised Greece for introducing a code of conduct for parliamentarians, it also called for more “increased transparency and a broadened scope for declaration of [lawmakers’] assets”.

A separate CoE report also claimed Greece had gone backward regarding anonymous donations to its political parties.

It claimed that after two years of banning anonymous donations completely, Greece had “reintroduced” a level of secrecy. “Concurrently, so-called fund-raising seems to allow for anonymous donations,” the body added.