State funding for political parties to be cut 20%

State funding for the political parties is to be reduced by at least 20 percent, in line with the cutbacks to public-sector wages and pensions, Interior Minister Yiannis Ragoussis announced on Wednesday.

Ragoussis revealed that the interior ministry is currently preparing legislation that will radically change the framework governing state funding for political parties and anything relating to the management of party finances, both by the parties themselves and by bodies in charge of monitoring political money.

The minister said that the cut in funding would not be imposed all at once but take place in stages from year to year, until the reduction amounted to 20 percent or more. He made it clear, meanwhile, that the state does not intend to take responsibility for dealing with overborrowing by political parties.

The changes envisaged would also affect the committee checking party finances and the means and assets statements provided by politicians but also the process of raising party funds, seeking to establish rules that ensured transparency, Ragoussis said.

The minister underlined that this would primarily benefit the parties themselves, which had to had to pass to a new age where their management of money that ultimately came from Greek tax payers was considered fully transparent and above reproach. He also repeated plans to make all sources of party funding fully traceable to individuals.


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