Parliament generous to its own

Parliament announced yesterday its intention to spend up to 4.68 million euros over the next two years in monthly subsidies to former MPs who were forced to give up their jobs while in office due to a law banning deputies from engaging in professional activities. Parliament Speaker Anna Psarouda-Benaki said the handouts would affect up to 65 former MPs who lost their seats after last year’s elections. Each will receive 3,000 euros a month over the next two years in amends for their lost incomes. The announcement came days after Parliament was criticized for giving itself a fully paid day off on Wednesday, when the postponed May Day celebrations were held, although the government insisted that private and public sector employees would miss the holiday. The problem arose because May 1 coincided with the Easter Sunday holiday. Psarouda-Benaki said the measure would apply to all former MPs who did not stand for re-election, or lost their seats. She added that former MPs with pensions under 3,000 euros might also benefit.