Souflias springs anti-graft measures

Aides of the prime minister refused to comment yesterday on an unexpected call from the Public Works Minister Giorgos Souflias for the ruling conservatives to introduce reforms to curtail corruption. Souflias proposed a change to the way MPs are elected and for affiliations between political parties and workers unions to be banned. «When talk of scandals begins, it ends slowly and poisons the country’s political landscape,» Souflias told journalists in Ioannina, northwestern Greece, where he is inspecting public construction projects. «We have to use the constitutional review as an opportunity to open the discussion on the electoral system and the way deputies are elected,» he said. The government will begin a constitutional debate in its next term in office, if elected. Souflias suggested that half of the candidates for seats in Parliament should be chosen by the party and the other half by voters. He also proposed that voters should be given a list with the names of all the candidates during elections rather than each party producing its own list. The minister added that party affiliations had to be removed from the public sector and proposed that unions no longer be allowed to develop ties with political parties. «The lack of checks is down to the bad attitude in public administration which is caused by poor organization and partisanship,» Souflias said. He insisted the prime minister was aware of his views.