Transparency watchdog chides government over delay in gifts list

Transparency watchdog chides government over delay in gifts list

The government, which was re-elected in June, has delayed publishing a list of the gifts its officials received in 2022, as stipulated by law, according to Vouliwatch, an independent transparency watchdog that filed a request for the list on July 18.

“A gold statuette is obviously not the same as a box of chocolates, of course, but since it is a matter of law, it is important that we should demand the list of gifts, no matter how small they are in size or value,” Vouliwatch’s legal adviser, Maria Nathanail, tells Kathimerini.

Publicly declaring all gifts became mandatory for the Greek government and presidency under a law passed in 2021. The list is supposed to be kept electronically and in chronological order. Officials are allowed to keep gifts worth less than 200 euros; those above that automatically become the property of the state and are managed by the respective offices of the presidency and the government.

“Our legislation on matters of transparency and accountability is both progressive and up-to-date compared to European standards. We legislate boldly and progressively, but then we apply only a tenth of these laws. We do not lack laws in Greece; we suffer from the lack of implementation of the legislation,” adds Nathanail.

The Presidency of the Republic published its list on January 30, declaring that among other presents, Katerina Sakellaropoulou received a silver perfume bottle from her Portuguese counterpart and a handmade rug from the president of the United Arab Emirates.

Subscribe to our Newsletters

Enter your information below to receive our weekly newsletters with the latest insights, opinion pieces and current events straight to your inbox.

By signing up you are agreeing to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.