ATHENS – A number of Greek politicians have agreed to donate half their salaries for the next two months to a special fund to help fight the COVID-19 Coronavirus after Prime Minister and New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis made the call.
But not all.
Mitsotakis asked his Cabinet and Members of Parliament from his party to make the contributions at the same time the government said some workers may be required to work for two weeks a month during a lockdown and have their pay cut 50 percent.
The new Greek President, Katerina Sakellaropoulou, jumped in immediately and agreed, as have Athens Mayor Kostas Bakoyannis from New Democracy and Bank of Greece Gov. Yannis Stournaras, who served the party as finance minister in an earlier coalition government.
“It is the least I can offer,” Bakoyannis said in a post on social media, while calling for solidarity in fighting the crisis.
Sakellaropoulou's office said she agreed “in view of the difficult financial circumstances in which the country finds itself due to the coronavirus pandemic.”
In making his appeal, Mitsotakis said that “as the government first mobilized with bold measures against the pandemic, so our country’s political world must stand at the forefront of solidarity.”
“We are all equal in the face of the health threat. But in the battle against it, everyone has to offer according to their own strengths. I am sure that the other parties will follow this course of action,” he added, said Kathimerini.
The major opposition and former ruling Radical Left SYRIZA that was ousted by New Democracy in July 7, 2019 snap elections said Mitsotakis should have gone even further in the effort and made it three months of contributions.
A SYRIZA statement added that the the measure should be “mandatory and not optional because employees who are losing half of their salaries by the decision of the government weren’t given an option.”
The statement added that, “This contribution should be extended to MEPs and those appointed to government posts as well as to legal entities within the public or wider public sector.” The Communist Party (KKE) called for a permanent reduction in the wages of all politicians.