Ministers given code of ethics to abide by
A new code of ethics for members of the government, banning ministers and their relatives and friends from engaging in business practices that could be deemed as creating a clash of interests, has been drawn up.
The set of guidelines is one of the prior actions Greece has to complete to qualify for further bailout funding and was published in the Government Gazette on Tuesday.
The code bans ministers from engaging in any business activity that is linked to a government post they have held for two years after they have left the cabinet. This also applies to ministers’ spouses, close relatives or third parties with close links to the outgoing minister.
Also, when joining the government, new ministers have to provide the premier with details of any paid jobs they held during the previous five years, their spouses’ professional activities and whether they own shares in or sit on the boards of any companies.
The code of conduct, overseen by the national anti-corruption coordinator, Yiannis Tentes, is not legally binding but seeks to provide ethical guidelines which government members will have to follow. These include not accepting any gifts unless they are offered as part of the minister’s official duties. Even in this case, the items will have to be passed over to the prime minister’s office.