In Effort to Reduce Spending, Greece Eliminates Press Ministry's 'Secret Fund' Used for Propaganda
Greece has undergone many harsh adjustments and endured much civil unrest in the past two years all in regards to keeping the country afloat financially and politically. In attempts to meet the austerity measure cuts as set forth by the European Union, Greece is cutting out all excess government spending, which the Greek government announced Wednesday, August 24th included included a secret fund established for the General Secretariats of Communication and Information (the press ministry) under the guise of "classified expenditures" decades ago. This secret fund has been operating since 1970, when Greece's military dictatorship created a law for it. Government spokesman, Ilias Mosialos announced that the current administration led by Prime Minister George Papandreou has never used the funds, which were reserved for propaganda purposes. Mosialos went on to say "Practices of using secret funds by these agencies in no way serve the national or public interest, which would justify their existence. On the contrary, they diminish the operation of the general secretariats and exposed them to criticism of manipulation. And obviously, there is no place for them in a modern parliamentary democracy."
This secret expenditure budget was meager in comparison to Greece's deficit, a mere €200,000, but at a time when every cent counts, it will help the country reconcile it's budget and have slightly more transparency. Next on the agenda of government spending to possibly be reduced will be employee travel, the use of press booths at events, gifts to foreign missions and meals with journalists. The Greek government has agreed to meet the austerity measures set forth by the EU in order to receive two bailouts to avoid default. The austerity measures include diminishing government spending and state employee income and pension while increasing government revenue by way of taxes. Any and all extra government expenditures will be expected to be cut by the EU and the Greek citizens themselves, and both are waiting to see what will be cut next.