I am afraid, Greeks’ nerves undergo tiring endurance tests on a daily basis. The recent news story of Parliament Speaker Vyron Polydoras who used the position he kept for two days in order have his daughter hired at his office is the latest cause for journalist to start digging to old Parliament traditions: benefits for former Parliament speakers and prime ministers who keep an army of employees on cost of taxpayers, even though they no longer hold even a seat in the Parliament as simple MP.
Tradition old practices in the Greek Palriament allow MPs and other holders of official posts to hire daughters, sons, nieces, nephews and other family relatives.
In simple Greek: if your father, mother, grandpa or grandma, uncle and aunt is elected to the Greek Parliament to save the country in one or another way, you are entitled to a working place as well. Directly and indirectly you are saved as well – especially in times of high unemployment, recession and economic crisis.
So far, so good. That’s the tradition, that hardly somebody can break.
However with there is another tradition more striking and more annoying. To provide former prime ministers and parliament speakers with offices and employees, even though the Formers do no longer hold an MP seat or have long retired from the active political life. “Until they die”, so to say…
“Former Prime Ministers like K. Mitsotakis (no longer MP), K. Simitis, K. Karamanlis and G. Papandreou enjoy the privilege of offices and employees. A total of 70 people.
Former Parliament speakers: Kaklamanis, Petsalnikos (PASOK), Psarouda-Benaki, Sioufas (Nea Dimocratia), are no longer MPs but offer work places to six people each. Benaki recently hired a niece, Sioufas daughter has a permanent work contract.” (NewsIt.gr)
Why do these former politicians need all these people financially supported by taxpayers’ money? Nobody can say really. “It’s the tradition and the law…”
Anyway, Vyron Polydoras saw no wrong doing and said in a statement, he was allowed to hire six people as former Parliament speaker, but he hired only one. His daughter. Nothing illegal.
“Polydoras condemmed “critical press reports about the appointment, claiming that they constituted a premeditated attempt to undermine his political influence.
Polydoras was quoted as saying that he had done nothing illegal and that Greek law actually entitled him to appoint six employees while he had appointed only one, albeit his daughter.” (full article ekathimerini)
PS After this statement, Greek taxpayers were relieved that he didn’t make full use of the law and hire five more people.
Still many in Greece blame their creditors for daring to question these practises, and for trying to bring the country under adult supervision.
In the last national elections, Troika demanded from us (on threat of expulsion from the euro) to vote for exactly the same political parties and politicians who have been following these practices. Apparently, such worthless and corrupted scums are considered much less dangerous than Tispras by our respected creditors.
Coming from institutions who tolerate and support appointed as opposed to elected political leaders, it’s a bit rich to presume that the “supervision” proposed is “adult”.
The word “predatory” seems a lot more appropriate.
The second most dangerous politician in Europe proposed to put an immediate end to all of these practices. Instead of being adult and supporting this, the promotors of the proposed “adult supervision” embarked on a media campaign never seen before to prevent him from becoming the elected PM of this country. Instead of supporting the changes you now suddenly want, they literally told the people of Greece to vote Samaras or else… Well, you have what you wanted, so what are you complaining about? This comes with the package. Should have done your homework before engaging in the bullying tactics you engaged in!
Let’s hope for the next elections …
As I recall, (following scandinavian media, true or not) he only promised free money from heaven to continue flowing. It would surely have led to Greek exit from euro. It was essentially poker with more than a bit too much on the table, hence any of his promises carried little credibility.
The overwhelming experience with especially Northern European press is that they say and print what they are told to say and print. Truth and reality have absolutely nothing to do with anything. sometimes this back fires, as with the rather embarrasing affair of the Murdoch empire in the UK. Embarrasing for British establisment that is.
Media are a very, very powerful weapon, and governments are only too aware of it. they also use it to great advantage to their agenda, as we in Greece found out last election. It’s a very sad state of affairs if you are going to use government media as a source of truth and accuracy.
If you want to know what the man said, listen to the man himself, don’t expect his enemies to accurately repeat his words.
I might have missed it since I am not in the country this summer… but did SYRIZA member collectively refused their parliamentary perk? Like the cars, the people they can hire, the complementary police guards, the pension schemes, the… ok, we all know the endless list. Did they refuse them?
I don’t remember, I don’t recall http://youtu.be/OArZ9N0Ptg8 😀
I think , I ‘ve missed that one too.