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The budget spending for the prime minister’s lunch has been cut

06 July 2012 / 20:07:13  GRReporter
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Antonis Samaras has ordered the closure of the kitchen in the prime minister’s office in Megaro Maximou, which costs taxpayers 63 thousand euro a year. It has been in operation since 1982, when Andreas Papandreou ordered its establishment. The kitchen of the prime minister's office has its own chef who most often cooks the formal dinners for foreign politicians visiting Greece. When there are no visits, the kitchen of the prime minister’s office works as a kitchen for the employees in the prime minister’s office and serves food during the prime minister’s workshops.

Those familiar with the matter claim that the costs of maintaining the kitchen of the prime minister’s office have sharply increased in recent years despite the deepening economic crisis – a development, which is contrary to the policy imposed by the previous democratically elected Prime Minister George Papandreou. He made cuts in pensions and salaries in the private sector but did not cut the budget of the kitchen of the prime minister's office nor did he reduce public sector spending, which are the main reasons for today's financial crisis.

The proposal that 1300 employees should receive additional remuneration of one thousand euro for the "extra" work during the two pre-election periods has caused a new row.

The decision for the election bonuses had been signed by former chairman of parliament Viron Polidoras, who took office ostensibly for two days before dismissing the parliament for the second election on 17 June. After the new parliament was sworn in, its chairman Evangelos Meimarakis consulted with Prime Minister Antonis Samaras as to whether the bonuses should be paid. Samaras has ordered the parliamentary chairman to find a legal way to save the budget the payment of the exorbitant amount of 1.3 million euro.

According to a publication in Ethnos, during election periods in the good old days, parliamentary employees received bonuses of four thousand euro per person. Some of the employees were so shocked by the "cutting" of the bonuses that they verbally attacked the journalists making parliamentary reports. "I hope you're happy with the results. We worked for 12-14 hours and will not get a dime," they shouted at the media. According to the employees in the national assembly, the injustice they faced was the journalists’ fault - if they had not made a fuss, the bonuses would have been paid. Greek media, however, did not fail to note that there were reasonable voices among parliamentary staff. They were firm that in this difficult period when millions of Greek citizens have to live on low incomes or are unemployed, giving bonuses was not right.

Wikileaks revealed that the leader of the neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn Nikos Mihaloliakos had also received government money under cover. He was an informer of the special state services in the period 1980-1982 and according to documents disclosed, he was paid 120 thousand drachmas as an informer of the state apparatus. The lists revealed to the public contain the name of the leader of the united nationalist movement (ENEK) Polydoros Dakoglou, who received 92 thousand drachmas for the same services as well as that of today’s supporter of LAOS Kostas Plevris.

 

Tags: PoliticsSpendingCutsInformerAntonis SamarasNikos Mihaloliakos
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