Time to look at funding of parties

Recent developments in the Siemens case, which have led to the holding up of the extradition to Greece of Michalis Christoforakos, the main suspect in the bribery case, have left our country’s political system at the mercy of court decisions taken in Germany. However, perhaps it provides us with an opportunity to think about how our political parties are funded. After all, Christoforakos is alleged to have made several under-the-table payments to Greece’s two main parties. The situation calls for strict regulations to be put in place that will ensure the transparency of the finances of the political parties that receive at least some of their funding from public coffers. These rules will have to be unbending and their enforcement overseen by an independent body, in order to avoid the situation in which Parliament again becomes not only responsible for conducting the checks but also the object of such checks. Otherwise, this would only lead to the farcical antics of the past that are unfortunately still all too familiar.