Do you remember KTG’s blogpost, that 300 MPs received in advance their January salary although the Parliament was closed on December 31st due to the elections on January 25th? Well… after the move was described by several media as “provocations in times of economic crisis” now the Parliament decided to demand back the money.
The Accountant Office of the Parliament sent notices to the 300 deputies asking them to return the money within 10 days, that is by 29th January.
It is interesting that the letter mentions the amount paid to each MP as “6.099.54 euro” and not as “5,500 euro” as media had reported.
Furthermore from this nice letter, we learn also that not only MPs but also Greece’s public servants they receive their salary in advance.
When the issue became public we had to read of several alleged legal obstacles as to why the pre-paid salaries could not be returned.
“Contrary to the common practice, MPs are paid in advance, and Greek media reported that according to a decision by the Regulatory Body, MPs maintain their “parliamentary membership” until the new parliament is sworn in.
Furthermore, “the payment was legal as there is no provision for returning of the money to the state,” media reported stressing that “there were some moral ‘gaps’ in the issue.”” (KTG’s blogpost)
MPs receive a monthly salary of €7,000 gross, €5,500 net. The total amount paid by the state budget was €2.1 million.
I wonder if the Parliament will demand back also the social insurance contributions paid in December. Ops! Maybe contributions were not paid yet to the insurance funds….
I am not sure that the Parliament wants the money back due to the “outrage” or because some citizens/organizations officially complained about it.
Nevertheless, this is definitely a justified move especially considering that at least 50 MPs (50 seats bonus for Nea Dimokratia) will not manage to enter the Parliament on January 26th.
PS I wonder whether MPs and civil servants in other countries are being paid in advance.