Greek federation blasts state subsidy proposal

The Greek Basketball Federation on Monday described as unacceptable the proposed financial subsidy from the state for 2013.

In a letter sent to Sports Undersecretary Giannis Ioannidis, the federation said the 1.7 million euros proposed for this year was much lower than the 4.2 million euros given last year.

"The sports federations are the institutional representatives of Greek sport and in no circumstances can they be regarded as beggars," read a letter from the federation.

Basketball is the second most popular sport in Greece after football and the national team is among the world's best, finishing runners-up in the 2006 World Championship and twice European Champions in 1987 and 2005.

The financial crisis in the country has led to the General Secretariat of Sports making drastic cuts in subsidies to the sports federations.

Last week the newly re-elected president of the Hellenic Olympic Committee Spyros Capralos had warned that very tough times lay ahead for all sports.

He said the deep cuts in government grants for sports federations may lead to their presidents in danger of facing jail terms for mounting debts.

"Last year for the badminton federation which I represent we had a government grant of 180,000 euros. This year we will be getting only 30,000 euros.

"How can we send athletes to competition abroad with such a small budget? Many small federations are on the brink of shutting down," Capralos said.

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