ATHENS – Nearly 200 staff members of the ruling New Democracy Conservatives of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras haven’t been paid for 3 1/2 months and threatened protests unless they are.
After a meeting with staff representatives on Nov. 11, the party’s General Manager Costas Tsimaras said the angry staffers would get some of their money this week and the rest by the end of the year. It wasn’t said if he’s being paid or if other high-ranking party officials were getting checks while officer staffers were being stiffed.
He didn’t say why they weren’t paid nor where the party that claims it limited funding would get the money to pay for them. New Democracy and its coalition partner the PASOK Socialists haven’t paid their staffs even though the parties get state funding and 250 million euros in bank loans they aren’t paying.
Greek parties don’t have to disclose how they spend their money and there’s no accounting where hundreds of millions of euros have gone, who got it, how it was spent, nor why staffers weren’t paid. Earlier reports said that PASOK didn’t pay its rent on a headquarters for months.
New Democracy staffers warned they would take action and protest if they aren’t paid. Other parties in Greece are facing similar problems as a result of dwindling state funding and outstanding debts but there’s no accounting of where all their money went.
It’s common in Greece for workers to go unpaid for months, and even years in some cases with little or no action taken against employers.