State Funding for Political Parties to be Halved

Greek ParliamentThe Greek government, with the backing of its foreign creditors, is to table a bill according to which state funding for parties will be reduced to half. The bill will also include provisions to enhance transparency in parties finances. According to the government, parties will receive will total funding of around 10 million euros a year.

However, this is not the first time the government has announced such cuts. Since 2009, the total amount parliamentary parties received from the state has shrunk from 50 million euros to 20 million last year.

Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and Deputy Prime Minister Evangelos Venizelos took the decision in a bid to restore trust in the political system and its parties. The measures are proposed to be permanent, with the government seeking to implement them before the local and European Parliament elections in May.

According to the new bill, political parties in Greece must publicize their sources of private funding, which mustn’t exceed 50,000 euros per donor. Moreover, they will be required to keep more detailed accounts, to be checked not by Parliament but by a special committee of judges.

SYRIZA, Greece’s main opposition on Sunday rejected the proposed bill, claiming it will affect those political parties that have nothing to do with corruption or bribery without doing anything about these crimes.

The new bill that will also include a code of ethics for ministers and MPs is expected to be submitted to Parliament in June.