HOUSE President Yiannakis Omirou and four MPs have reportedly hired family members as parliamentary associates.
Omirou hired as his associate his niece, DISY MPs Andreas Michaelides and Aristotelis Misos, as well as DIKO’s Giorgos Prokopiou, hired their sons, while EDEK deputy Fidias Sarikas his brother, according to a report in Politis.
DISY’s Andreas Michaelides had replaced two associates before appointing his son Demetris; he said that his decision was approved both by former DISY leader Nicos Anastasiades and by the DISY parliamentary group.
Misos, who became MP mid-season after the late Tasos Mitsopoulos was appointed minister, hired his son because he said he needed someone he could trust.
Prokopiou has denied hiring his son, adding that his aide was Michalis Yiakoumis, a former associate of energy minister Giorgos Lakkotrypis. Prokopiou’s own son however has admitted to working as an associate of his father. Prokopiou claimed he was paying his son’s salary but House documents show Prokopiou’s son as being his parliamentary associate.
Sarikas pointed to his brother’s involvement in EDEK and said he had all the qualifications required for the job.
Normally associates’ positions are announced at the commencement of every parliamentary season and the selection is made by the parties but MPs have the final say, with the exception of AKEL, where the MPs’ preferences are restricted.
Associates’ salaries are paid by the parties, out of the government grant given to political parties. These staff are on the A8 pay scale (€2,000 per month). Even though their employment terms are set with yearly contracts they get civil servant benefits.
MPs receive also an annual allowance of €12,300 for secretarial staff, regardless if they employ someone or not.