Damian Mac Con Uladh

Posts Tagged ‘Political parties’

Greece’s heavily indebted coalition parties move to ringfence state funding from seizure

In Greece on 16 October 2014 at 10:29 am
The maths. 2013: New Democracy +Pasok = €270m

Debt to democracy: “2013: New Democracy +Pasok = €270m” (Screengrab from a video on party debt produced by the Drasi party)

Coalition parties New Democracy and Pasok, which combined owe over €270m to the country’s banks, on Wednesday successfully tabled an amendment that will ringfence 40% of state funding to political parties from seizure.

In a last-minute intervention, the heavily indebted parties introduced the amendment to a draft bill on political funding on the grounds that it was to safeguard the “minimum guaranteed revenue for and the sustainability of parties”.

The opposition voted against the amendment, arguing that it was specifically tailored to serve the needs of the heavily indebted coalition parties. However, none of the opposition parties called for a roll-call vote on the amendment.

In recent years, Pasok’s and New Democracy’s debts have left both parties struggling to pay their employees’ wages and social insurance, rent and other bills. Given its plummeting political fortunes in recent years, Pasok by far faces the greatest problems as its state financing has decreased accordingly.

The move by the ruling parties to protect a significant portion of state funding from possible seizure is being widely viewed within the context of the strong possibility of snap elections between now and spring.

Read the rest of this entry »


Baltakos plans new rightwing force with ‘serious’ Golden Dawn figures, claims report

In Uncategorized on 6 October 2014 at 11:56 am
Takis Baltakos and Ilias Kasidiaris

Takis Baltakos and Ilias Kasidiaris (Photo: Ethnos.gr)

Takis Baltakos, the former cabinet secretary and righthand man of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, is planning a new rightwing political force that could include “serious” figures from Golden Dawn, a Sunday newspaper has reported.

Baltakos was forced to resign in April after a video surfaced showing him engaged in what appeared to be a friendly conversation in his parliamentary office, with leading Golden Dawn MP Ilias Kasidiaris.

According to Ethnos on Sunday, Baltakos hopes to have the new party established by February at the latest. The newspaper also claims that Kasidiaris, currently in custody pending trial along with other Golden Dawn leaders on charges of running a criminal organisation, is involved in this venture.

Excluded from the party would be Golden Dawn’s leader, Nikos Michaoliakos, who, along with other Golden Dawn figures, is viewed by those planning the new entity as a liability.

Since his resignation as the most powerful official in the government, Baltakos has made no secret of his political plans. Asked in August if he will form a new party, he said that “when the time comes, everything will have been done”.

In a frank interview with To Vima in August, Baltakos, who described the Orthodox church and armed forces as “pillars of the nation”, said that it was imperative for New Democracy to swing to the right to win over the 16.5% of the electorate that lies to its extreme.

Read the rest of this entry »