As negotiations limp on between Greek politicians and the Troika, Ekathimerini
reports that Greece has been given a further 15 days to find 300 million of euros of cuts. Unable to reach an agreement over pension cuts, they have managed to agree a reduction of 22 percent to the current monthly minimum wage of 751.39 euros, (Athens News
) assuring increased poverty for those now destined to struggle to survive on around 600 euros per month.
Cuts have been suggested thus far that affect the average Greek citizen, yet one area that has escaped scrutiny and cutbacks remains the privileged and over inflated salaries, expenses and perks of 300 members of the Greek Parliament. As the numbers of middle class homeless increases and Greek school children work in freezing classrooms with minimum heat, due to lack of funds for heating oil, politicians continue to enjoy monthly salaries that are high in relation to many other European countries in spite of the deep recession that has gripped Greece for five years.
Below is current information pertaining to the salaries, perks and expenses of Greek politicians.
Greek Reporter published these figures, citing information from German newspaper Bild. Quoted in full, Greek politicians receive:
•MP’s salary: 8594 euros per month
•Supplementary salaries during Christmas (500 euros), Easter (250 euros) and vacations (250 euros)
•4 secretaries and 1 consultant
•3300 euros per year for using 4 telephone lines
•Free transferring on trains, buses and ships
•Up to 60 free of cost flights for MP coming from district areas
•1000 euros allowance per month for housing
•Interest free loans
•All Members of Parliament over 65-years-old receive not only pension but also compensation.
•Members of Parliament can receive a pension after a 4 year tenure.
•Members of Parliament can partially deny to give information about their property
Additional goodies reaped by Greek politicians as reported by the Irate Greek
MPs further receive an allowance for participating in parliamentary committee meetings. The allowance currently stands at €150 per MP per meeting. There were 34 active committees and subcommittees in parliament from 04/10/2010 to 30/09/2011 that held a total of 740 meetings with a total of 761 members. The total cost to the taxpayer was €4,725,600. Each MP earned on average €15,752 from participating in committees over a one-year period
The MPs’ per diem when on official travel abroad is €150. All MPs get to stay in 5-star hotels when abroad.
A day-care centre for MPs’ children whose cost is entirely covered by parliament and which employs 20 people.
The prime minister, deputy prime ministers, ministers, deputy ministers, speaker of parliament and leader of the main opposition party further receive 20-40% of salary for representation costs (equating to between €778 and €1,556 per person per month on top of their regular pay.
Based on these figures the Greek political leaders are raking it in nicely during their endless meetings in which little of any substance is ever achieved.