By Yorgos Tahtsidis, M.A.
Since the Greek finances have been checked and re-checked by the IMF, EU, and the ECB, the whole world knows nowadays that all governments of Greece after the end of World War II have at least misused, mishandled, or embezzled the money the people of Greece have put aside to pay taxes without receiving the equivalent in return. Nowadays, for yet one more time in history, the people of Greece are called to pay for the wrongdoings of their representatives at a time of crisis in which the salary and benefits of the Members of the Parliament of Greece are the following:
- 1. Monthly Salary 6,000 euro ($8097.60 US).
- 2. MoPs are entitled to receive retirement after only ONE four-year term in the amount of 4.880 euro ($6,586.05 US).
- 3. The bonus for participating in a commission is 150 euro an hour ($220. 44 US).
- 4. The MoP who represent regions other than Athens is 1,000 euro (id="mce_marker",349. 60 US) for rent.
- 5. All MoP receive 1,500 euros ($2024.40 US) to cover their office expenses and an additional 1,000 euro (id="mce_marker",349. 60 US) to cover the increase communication costs with their constituents. This does not include Christmas bonus, Easter bonus, and holiday bonus
- 6. All MoP are entitled to 68 round-trip tickets annually and unlimited transportation with public buses and trains. .
- 7. All MoP are entitled to a luxury car, a fuel bonus of 600 euro ($809.76 US), one police officer to guard them, 4 most modern cellular phones, and a land line at their home… all at the cost of taxpayers.
- 8. All MoP are entitled to amnesty on any crime they may commit during their tenure as MoP.
- 9. All MoP are entitled to be relieved of taxation for a part of their salary or retirement.
- 10. All MoP are entitled to have 4 Secretaries and one scientific advisor; all of whom are paid by the Greek state – in other words the tax payers.
- 11. All MoP are entitled to receive loans which are free of interest rates as MoPs and as Professionals.
- 12. All MoP are entitled to a free membership to a gym of their choice, a sauna, and a kindergarten for their children.
- 13. All MoP are entitled to free phonecalls.
- 14. All MoP are entitled to free entrance in archaeological and/or fine art sites.
- 15. All MoP are entitled to are relived of any traffic tolls
- 16. All MoP are entitled to transportation and lodging when they travel abroad as members of a mission.
On the one hand, we all will agree that the Greek tax payers should ensure that their elected representatives have an appropriate life-style in order to be able to concentrate themselves completely on the representing the interests of their constituents.
On the one hand, everyone will agree that the people of Greece ought to offer their elected MoP a decent and appropriate lifestyle to ensure that the MoPs will devote themselves completely on representing the interests of their constituents. On the other hand, however, the Greek people should not expected to tolerate seeing that their taxes pay such hi salaries; especially when considering that the salary of a member in the U.S. Congress earns id="mce_marker"74,000 (128,613 euro) annually – which corresponds to $9,186.64 a month – while the salary of a member of the German “Bundestag” is 7668 euro (after the latest raise in 2008). Anyone realizes that, after adding up all the bonuses to the basic salary of 6,000 euro, the salary of the Greek MoPs is much higher.
In order to be fully informed on this issue, one also ought to consider the following data:
Population of Greece:10.5 million
Number of elected representatives: 300
Representative per population: 1 per 35000 citizens
Population of USA: 310 million
Number of elected representatives: 435
Representative per population: 1 per 689655 citizens
Population of Germany: 81.5 million
Number of elected representatives: 622
Representative per population: 1 per 131029 citizens
Also, the people of Greece now know that most (if not all) MoPs do not represent the rights and interests of their constituents but, instead, they represent the rights and interests of the political party and the interest group that helped them be elected.
The question that remains to be answered is: Until when will the Greek people elect and/or endure this kind of politicians?