Draft law on party funding passes first stage

A parliamentary committee on Tuesday approved legislation that introduces more stringent rules on party funding even though none of the opposition parties voted in favor of the bill, which is due to be put before the plenary in the next few weeks.

“With this legislation, we say that the Greek people must stop feeding the parties,” said Interior Minister Argyris Dinopoulos. “There will also be greater transparency regarding private donations.”

One of the most significant changes that the draft law aims to introduce is for parliamentary parties to receive public funds based on a 0.005 percent share of net revenues from the previous year rather than 0.102 percent of state revenue projected in the national budget.

Independent Greeks and the Communist Party voted against the legislation, while Golden Dawn voted “present.” SYRIZA and Democratic Left said they wanted more time to study the bill before deciding how their MPs would vote when the draft law is put before the House.

SYRIZA expressed reservations about the provisions relating to private donations. Under the would-be law the maximum donation that can be made in the course of a year will be 20,000 euros, while the details of donors will be made public.

Dinopoulos, however, brushed off fears that potential donors might be deterred if they wish to retain their privacy. He said their identity would only be made known to the parliamentary committee that will monitor party finances.

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