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Verhofstadt questions €29 million pre-election fund for established Greek parties

Date

11 Apr 2012

Sections

Euro & Finance

Today ALDE Leader Guy Verhofstadt sent a letter to President Barroso criticising the decision of the Greek parliament yesterday to grant substantial cash payments to the established political parties in advance of the election expected on 6 May.

"Press reports indicate that €29 million have been approved for a few political parties based on the results they achieved during the previous elections, resulting in an advance payment on the expected result of elections that are still to be held early next month," wrote Verhofstadt, who questioned "how appropriate is it that the two main parties, largely responsible for the current situation in Greece, receive a tax payer funded bailout? It would be fairer if the fiscal consolidation measures imposed on Greek citizens, many of whom are now facing unemployment and a drastic cut in their income, also apply to politicians and political parties".

Moreover, continued Verhofstadt: "Needless to say, this raises serious concerns given that this payment would provide a huge advantage during the campaign only to the main established parties that are already in serious debt and owe millions to their employees and to the State".

By asking whether during the Greek negotiations with the Troika on the second aid package this payment was discussed or approved, Verhofstadt concluded: "Since none of these €29 million euros can be used to reimburse the banks who are owed millions by the two main parties, we seriously doubt that it is acceptable to ask European tax payer to effectively pay for the recapitalisation of Greek banks".

See attached full copy of the letter.

For more information please contact:

Corlett Neil - Tel:+32 2 284 20 77 Mob:+32 478 78 22 84

Terzi Federica - Tel:+32 2 283 23 24 Mob:+32 494 18 88 31

Web: http://www.alde.eu

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