NEWS

Troika calls for more transparency in Greek politics

The troika has written to the Greek government asking for changes to laws governing the funding of political parties and the introduction of a code of ethics for ministers and lawmakers, sources have told Kathimerini.

The document calls for changes to the legal framework regarding donations to parties and parliamentary candidates and suggests party finances should be more transparent. It also proposes that members of Parliament and ministers be bound by set rules of conduct, while public officials should be barred from engaging in any kind of other professional or financial activity while they are in office.

Prime Minister Antonis Samaras’s aides have received the proposals and they are likely to be incorporated into a broader discussion about constitutional reform. The government is hoping to make between Easter and the May 25 European Parliament elections a series of proposals on reforming the way politics is conducted in Greece in the hope that they help repair voters’ trust in the political system and the two ruling parties in particular.

Among the ideas being considered by the government are limits on how much each party can spend and the removal of some privileges enjoyed by lawmakers, including expenses to cover their administrative and travel costs. It is also likely that they will seek to change the law on immunity from prosecution for ministers and MPs.

With regards to the ongoing negotiations between Athens and the troika for the release of almost 9 billion euros in bailout funding, Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras will not have an agreement to present to his eurozone counterparts at Monday’s Eurogroup.

Greek banks’ capital needs had been a stumbling block during negotiations in recent days but a Finance Ministry official said on Saturday afternoon that an agreement had been reached.

The results of stress tests presented by the Bank of Greece on Thursday put lenders’ capital needs at 6.4 billion euros but the International Monetary Fund in particular believes that this figure is too low.

However, the Finance Ministry official suggested that the IMF had backed down during talks on Saturday. Athens is now aiming to conclude an agreement with the troika by Sunday, March 16.

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