Greece will spend no more than 50 million euros to host the six-month rotating European Union presidency, which it will assume in January, Parliament was told on Friday.
Deputy Foreign Minister Dimitris Kourkoulos told the House’s European affairs committee that the government would devote fewer resources to the EU presidency than other countries had done recently. He said that in contrast to recent presidencies that required 60 to 75 million euros and up to 250 staff, Greece would spend less and use no more than 150 personnel.
It had been suggested by some Euro MPs this week, following the murder of musician Pavlos Fyssas by a Golden Dawn member, that Greece might not be a worthy candidate to hold the presidency.
PASOK MEP Anni Podimata told the parliamentary committee that Fyssas’s murder had severely tarnished Greece’s image. “It is not an exaggeration to say that this case is more damaging than either Greece’s default or the falsification of statistics.”
Unlike their Athens-based parliamentary colleagues, Greek MEPs from five parties put their political differences aside to submit together a question in the European Parliament regarding the effects of austerity and the rise of right-wing extremism in Greece and other parts of Europe. The MEPs asked the European Commission and Council to explain what measures they are prepared to take to address this situation.