NEWS

Potami leader Theodorakis slams rival parties over state funding

Journalist Stavros Theodorakis, the leader of centrist party To Potami, has attacked rival groups over their state funding ahead of officially presenting its 42 European Parliament candidates in Drapetsona, near Piraeus, on Monday.

The new party is still polling between third and fourth in surveys ahead of the May 25 elections. A Pulse poll for Pontiki newspaper put Potami on 7 percent, behind Golden Dawn on 10, New Democracy on 20.5 and SYRIZA on 22.

Speaking on Skai TV on Monday morning, Theodorakis called on the other parties running in the elections to decline to accept 7 million euros in state funding that has been set aside for them.

“This money could go towards helping 15,000 families,” he said.

“Party funding [from state coffers] is five tomes higher than the average in Europe,” he claimed. “Our ballot papers will cost us 9,980 euros but I heard another party leader saying that they will pay 240,000 euros. It appears there is a different understanding of money.”

The Interior Ministry decided that 50 percent of the funding should be allocated according to the share of the vote that parties gained in the 2009 European vote and only 10 percent based on the last general elections in June 2012.

This means that New Democracy will receive 1.44 million euros, PASOK 1.38 million, SYRIZA 377,000, KKE 349,000, LAOS 270,000, the Ecologist Greens 131,000, Independent Greeks 55,000 and DIMAR just 54,000 euros.

The remaining share of the 7 million euros of total funding will be handed out after the May 25 results are known and based on each party’s share of the vote.

Theodorakis has been coy about how To Potami is being funded, insisting that public donations are driving the party which was launched only on March 11.

During Monday’s interview, Theodorakis also suggested Greece should open up the post of Bank of Greece governor to foreigners, as the Bank of England has done by appointing Canadian Mark Carney.

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