Council of Europe has mixed reaction to anti-graft, party funding laws

The Council of Europe believes that an anti-corruption law passed recently in Greece is a “major step forward” for the country but has expressed reservations about whether a bill aimed at making party funding more transparent lives up to the recommendations made by its experts.

In a report due to be published on Thursday, experts from the Council’s Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) say that the anti-graft law, which addresses issues such as the bribery of public officials, creates “an entirely new and more robust legal framework, which brings together – for the first time – all relevant provisions on bribery and trading influence within the penal code.”

GRECO notes, however, that the government did not abolish the statute of limitation for the prosecution of current and former members of government.

The experts also said there had been slow progress in drawing up new rules on party funding and that they had received little information from Greece regarding the relevant bill submitted to Parliament last week.

“It is too early to tell to what extent the new bill for funding of political parties goes to meeting GRECO recommendations, but we are certainly monitoring developments carefully,” said Panos Kakaviatos, a Council of Europe spokesman.