A new bill that would allow lawmakers and active politicians to own offshore companies is to be repealed by the government after creating an uproar in Greece, and even prompted a reaction from the government-friendly leftist newspaper, Avgi.
The reactions had caused great concern at Maximos Mansion, with the government deciding to back down and annul the bill in Wednesday’s plenary.
Speaking on Ant1 television, New Democracy president Kyriakos Mitsotakis said that, under law, cabinet members, lawmakers and active political persons were not allowed to own offshore companies. The leading opposition party chief called on Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to state publicly who benefits from the bill. He further criticized the government for passing the article shrewdly, as part of the bailout program requirements.
Centrists’ Union leader Vasilis Leventis spoke on Skai radio on Tuesday and said that lawmakers and politicians should not be allowed to have other business activities, much less abroad. He also said that politicians and lawmakers should not have bank accounts in tax havens.
Leftist newspaper: Government is offside with offshore companies
The government-friendly Avgi newspaper with a headline using a football term calls on the leftist government to take back the controversial bill.
The newspaper editorial says that it is not ethical for a leftist government to allow politicians to own offshore companies because it is incompatible with leftist principles.
The writer of the editorial says that the bill is provocative at a time when lower social strata face the impact of harsh austerity measures, and asked that the bill be repealed immediately.
The editorial further says that even if the bill is a bailout program prerequisite, or it is a measure to battle corruption, it goes against leftist ethics.
After the uproar, government spokesperson Olga Gerovassili announced that the bill will be repealed, while at the same time attacked previous governments claiming that they were prohibiting cabinet members, active politicians and other high-ranking officials to own offshore companies, but their legislation was vague on the definition of an offshore company.
See all the latest news from Greece and the world at Greekreporter.com. Contact our newsroom to report an update or send your story, photos and videos. Follow GR on Google News and subscribe here to our daily email!