Among the approximately 20 items on the agenda of the Meeting of Leaders or Representatives of the Parliamentary Parties, which took place today, was the issue of state sponsorship of the parliamentary parties and a decision to be given in its entirety for 2021, which was discussed after a letter of the Cooperation of Democratic Forces, with some of the parties adopting the proposal of the President of DISY and others expressing the position that the discussion is pointless. Ab. Neophytou states in his letter that if based on the results of the parliamentary elections in May DISY will be entitled to increased state sponsorship, it will not claim it for the rest of 2021, while if it should be reduced, then the difference will be returned proportionally to the General Accounting Office. of democracy.
The Member of Parliament for the Cooperation of Democratic Forces, Marinos Mousiouttas, clarifying that the Cooperation does not participate institutionally in the Meeting, but was invited and present, explained to KYPE that the Cooperation sent letters to the Speaker of the Parliament and the Auditor General asking the President to explain why the parliamentary parties were given all the sponsorship for 2021 and the Auditor General to investigate whether the proper procedures were followed to give this amount.
He clarified that the reason for this request is because the Cooperation believes that if elections are held in May, the parliamentary parties should receive their share of sponsorship by May, ie five twelfths (5/12) and from on June 1 based on the results of the elections to get the rest of the sponsorship, depending on the new power they will have.
He added that in this way there will be no phenomenon of parties that will not enter Parliament, or parties that will reduce their power to have to return sponsorship from what they received, without a mechanism to implement the return.
Mr. Mousiouttas said that the Cooperation considers that within the framework of good administration this should be our concern, even if nothing is provided in the legislation.
Noting that the question is not only to be honest but also to look honest and “we had to set a good example”, he said that unfortunately during the Meeting of Leaders it became clear that AKEL and DIKO believe that there was nothing different, while most of the other parties agreed with the position of DISY.
He went on to say that no decision was made, nor was any commitment made by the parties participating in the Meeting.
“We considered it our duty, especially in this state of the pandemic and at a time when people have lost their jobs or their business turnover has shrunk, they live on bonuses and the bonuses were delayed due to the delay in the adoption of the Budget. “Those who decide, when it comes to their house to take the money entirely and in advance, to act in this way”, he added.
Answering a question, he said that at the Leaders' Meeting he was informed that in the past there was a provision that the sponsorship should be given in two installments, one now and one after the elections, which has been canceled. He added that legally there is no problem, but, he continued “the discussion concerns the ethical side of the issue, as there is a high probability that the percentages will be differentiated and therefore the amount corresponding to each party will be differentiated either upwards or downwards and yet we rushed to get the sponsorship from now on ignoring this important parameter and it is what we are looking for “.
Based on a statement by the Parliamentary Representative Nikos Tornaritis, DISY, took a position on the issue “simply and clearly” with the letter of the President of the party Averof Neophytou, which Mr. Tornaritis made public. In the letter, Mr. Neophytou states that during the upcoming parliamentary elections there may be a difference in the amount of state sponsorship that will be allocated to the parties and adds that if based on the results of the May parliamentary elections DISY will not be entitled to increased state sponsorship will claim it for the rest of 2021.
He also adds that if based on the results of the parliamentary elections the state sponsorship that will belong to DISY should be reduced, then the difference will be returned proportionally to the General Accounting Office of the Republic.
AKEL Parliamentary Representative George Loukaidis told KYPE that “we are discussing only a shadow” adding that the issue is non-existent.
He added that the current regulation, if observed, does not bring any benefit or harm to any party regardless of the special characteristics of each party or whether it will have an increase or decrease in percentages compared to previous elections or if it is a party that will enter the Parliament for the first time or if he was in Parliament and stays out of parliament.
As long as the sponsorship is given for a total of five years, by calendar year, whether given by calendar year or by parliamentary term (June 2021 to June 2026), it has the same effect, he explained.
That is, if AKEL is entitled to 100 euros, 20 every year and gets them in June 2021 with June 2026 or January 2022 with January 2026, the amount will be the same, he added.
The President of DIKO, Nikolas Papadopoulos, stated in KYPE that “those who have raised this issue are confused”. He added that they miss the fact that the term of the Parliament is for 5 years, clarifying that this means that what a party “loses” that enters the Parliament for the first time for the 2nd half of the first year of the five-year term “gains” with the sponsorship it receives for the entire year of the 5th year of office.
“No party 'wins' more sponsorship No party' loses' no matter how the percentages are distributed after the elections” he continued and in order to better explain his position he cited as an example the Citizens' Alliance that did not receive sponsorship for the second half of 2016 when he entered Parliament and who will not run in the 2021 parliamentary elections, but gets sponsorship for the whole of 2021, which means that he “got back” what he lost in 2016.
He added that the same applies to all parties and all redistributions of percentages.
The President of EDEK Marinos Sizopoulos stated to KYPE that at a mathematical level there will be no party that will lose with the regulation that was decided, but he continued the right one, since in the previous years there was, for obvious reasons, the note in the Budget 50% of the state sponsorship should be given to the parties now and the remaining 50% should be given based on the data that will be formed with the results of the parliamentary elections in May, so that if a party increases its percentages, the sponsorship and if a party reduces its percentages to reduce its sponsorship.
In 2018, 2019, 2020 there was the relevant note in the Budget, said Mr. Sizopoulos, adding that now that the sponsorship has been given, it remains unclear what will follow.
Asked who removed the note, the President of EDEK said that he did not know and expressed the assessment that the change may be a result of the transfer of sponsorship for the first time in the Budget of the autonomous Parliament and the sponsorship was given to the parties from the Budget of the Parliament and not by the Ministry of Finance as was done in previous years.
In the perspective of 5 years, there is no question of any party having a loss, he said and reiterated that the right thing would be to give the sponsorship this year to 50% since we have elections, as was the note and the remaining 50% to be redistributed according to the percentages secure the parties in the May 30 elections.
In a statement, MP and Vice President of Solidarity Michalis Giorgallas said that the amount of state sponsorship for the post-election period has been deposited in a special account and will be returned to the Movement, whenever and as requested, according to the differences. that may exist after the May elections.
He stated that “we respect the procedures of the state. We will respond to any decision that is taken “.
The MP of the Ecologists 'Movement – Citizens' Cooperation, George Perdikis, told KYPE that the state sponsorship of the parties must be done fairly and expressed the position that the sponsorship was wrongly distributed for the whole of 2021 and before the elections, mysteriously deleting the original of the budget of the Parliament. He added that according to the data, the parties that can secure entry in Parliament in the May elections will have to apply for sponsorship for the second half of 2021 with an additional budget as was done in 2016.
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