Ragousis tenders his resignation to PM

Deputy Defense Minister Yiannis Ragousis has tendered his resignation to the prime minister over a controversial proposal to award parties some 30 million euros in funding ahead of the parliamentary elections.

The socialist politician last week said he would abstain from Monday?s vote in Parliament on the issue.

In a statement released on Monday, Ragousis justified his decision invoking a bill tabled in May 2011 on the checking of the finances of parties and politicians. He said the coming general elections have to take place inside the framework outlined by the draft legislation.

Greek deputies were due to decide Monday whether the five parliamentary parties should receive 30 million euros in funding as a lump sum ahead of the elections.

This relates to the regular state funding the parties receive, although the amendment calls for the last installment from 2011 and two from this year to be paid in one go.

The proposal has drawn criticism from the smaller parties.