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Verhofstadt seeks a more comprehensive answer from Commission on Greek party financing


13 Apr 2012

"It is always easy to play the card of competency as a way to deny responsibility" said ALDE Leader Guy Verhofstadt commenting on today's statement from the European Commission regarding the letter sent to President Barroso criticising the decision of the Greek parliament to grant €29 million to the established political parties in advance of the election.

The Commission says that financing of elections is a national competence and that the Troika Memorandum of Understanding with Greece also contained no clauses on Greek party financing.

"We are pleased to find out that the substantial cash payments were not part of a second bailout between Greece and the Troika but we cannot accept that the Commission buries its head in the sand. This kind of payment is a slap in the face of the Greek citizens but also of the European partners The Commission can and should react on it". 

"Why should the Commission remain silent before the financing of the political parties largely responsible for the current situation in Greece? The Commission may well say now that it does not have any competence but then how can it justify that it asked Greece to cut the minimum wage, to privatise the public sector and to reform the pension system? Three issues, according to the Treaties, do not fall into its competence either". 

"During next week's plenary debates with Mr Barroso we will be seeking a more comprehensive  answer", Verhofstadt concluded.

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