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Personnel of 1,700 people serve the 300 members of Greek parliament

03 September 2012 / 16:09:36  GRReporter
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In crisis Greece, the attending personnel of the Greek National Assembly numbers 1,700 people. This news shocked the local media at a time when new cuts in pensions and salaries in the private and public sectors are about to be approved. By occupation, 670 permanent employees, 541 people with contracts for services, 100 not regularly appointed people and 360 policemen serve the Greek parliament. In addition to administrative personnel, stenographers and other office related services in parliament, many and different dead souls were paid salaries and fees over the years. At various times, ordinary taxpayers paid them from their own pockets for obscure services.

Kathimerini gives the example of establishing a special committee for economic research in May 2009. A scientific committee of ten members was formed in parliament at that time. Eighteen scientific researchers, two scientific advisers and forty-eight additional consultants were added to the committee to support its activities. A total of seventy people were hired to render services for an indefinite period of time, who were registered as parliamentary employees. The results of the activity of this scientific committee were not very clear, but hundreds of thousands of euro were spent for its work.

Appointments and salaries of parliamentary employees were rising in inverse proportion to the worsening financial situation of Greece. In 2005, the costs of salary of parliamentary employees exceeded 71.5 million euro. In 2007, the employees numbered slightly less than 1,800 and in 2009, appointments reached their peak and exceeded 2,000 people who served 300 deputies. In 2010, the number of parliamentary employees did not significantly decrease despite the crisis. Their number dropped below 2,000, but the costs of salaries rose by 42% and exceeded 102 million euro. In 2011, parliament employees numbered 1,333 but different benefits were added to their salaries for additional qualities, which are considered basic and mandatory in the private sector - for computer literacy, for taking a major post, for length of service, and additional funds for transport costs. In addition to all this, parliament employees enjoy a 16th salary and their pension after 28 years of service starts from 5,169 euro per month.

It is known that the jobs in parliamentary administration in Greece are reserved for relatives and friends of the deputies elected through the years. While the members of the National Assembly fail to get over themselves and cut the posts and operating costs of parliament to a healthy level, another package of cuts in budget spending lies ahead. It must be approved in September this year and it will bring cuts and savings amounting to 11.6 billion euro over the next two years.

Former agriculture minister and PASOK deputy at present Kostas Skandalidis said openly that he would not vote for the adoption of measures relating to the reduction of salaries and pensions in both the private and the public sector. Odiseas Voudouris from Democratic Left opposed the cuts in salaries too. Deputies from the three parties involved in the government coalition expressed their reservations about the new cuts in citizens’ salaries and social benefits. Nevertheless, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras stated that the measures for 11.6 billion euro would be accepted, even if he would never be re-elected. The government, however, has not yet demonstrated the same determination to reduce costs in the very parliament administration.

 

Tags: PoliticsParliamentCrisisEmployeesHigh salariesGreece
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