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The government proceeds to the closure or merger of 60 public bodies

30 June 2012 / 13:06:15  GRReporter
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In summer, the Greek government is expected to send a strong, symbolic message to the foreign partners and mainly the creditors of the country. According to some sources, the Prime Minister already has a list that includes 60 state structures, which will be closed or merged with others.

This will be the first step of the government towards "reducing the state." The purpose of this programme is to convince not only through words but in practice that the new Greek government is determined to meet its commitments.

In the Prime Minister's Residence experts believe that the merger and closure of state structures, combined with the first envisaged privatization deals will facilitate the discussion, which the Greek Prime Minister intends to start in connection with the renegotiation of the terms of the memorandum.

These state structures are part of different ministries – the Ministry of Education, Development, Environment, Healthcare, etc. - but government members believe that their closure or transformation can be accomplished by simple ministerial decision, since there is already an adequate law voted in the Parliament.

Regarding the people working in these structures, the government will try to implement a triple system, namely:

- Laying off the employees with fixed-term contracts at the expiration of their contract, regardless of exactly when that will happen.

- Relocation of permanent civil servants.

- Return (if the Troika agree) of the so-called "labour reserve" for employees working with a permanent contract.

The Government believes that these three proposals will be accepted both by PASOK and by the Democratic Left Party. According to sources, the Prime Minister Antonis Samaras has already discussed the matter with Evangelos Venizelos and Fotis Kouvelis, during their meeting at the home of the Prime Minister in Kifissia. Also members of the Cabinet restate that the text of the Programme Agreement between the leaders of the political parties supporting the government, clearly stresses that the goal is "to prevent the layoffs of permanently employed staff" but also that there must be "major cost savings from salaries, and reduction of the bureaucracy". The economic team that prepared the programme, includes among the savings also the drastic reduction in overtime of civil servants.

The plan of the government, which provides for the immediate merger or closure of state structures, includes 60 departments and institutions, mainly from the Ministry of education and culture, the Ministry of Healthcare, the Ministry of development, employing over 3,000 people. First in this list are the following public bodies:

The company for research and psychosocial rehabilitation "SintHesi", the Specialized fund for organizing concerts of the Thessaloniki State Philharmonic Orchestra, the Society for Psychotherapy and psychosocial development "ATHENS", the Greek Council for Refugees, the company Social Cooperative activities for vulnerable groups ''EDRA", the Hellenic Weightlifting Federation, the Support centre for psychosocial health "ALTHEA", the National Sports Centre - Chania, the Economic and Social Committee, the Greek language Centre, the Society for psychosocial research and treatment "ALILENGII" (Solidarity), the Greek Society for the Study of Alzheimer's Disease and related disorders, the National Centre for Vocational Guidance, the non-profit organization for social assistance "Sinirmos", the Foundation for the Management of the National Park Samaria, the Hellenic Centre for transcultural psychiatry and treatment, the Centre for religious education, the Greek Society for the Protection of Persons with autism, the Athens Conservatory, the National Society for psychosocial support, the Centre for physiotherapy "IASIS", the Ethnographic and Ethnological Museum of the regions Macedonia-Thrace, the National Centre for Research and Treatment of Diabetes.

Among the surveyed departments which will be included in the programme for merging of the structures are the following: the Office for organizing the management of the development programmes, which employs nearly 1,200 people, the National Organization for Medicines, the United Food Control Service, the National Centre for blood donation, 20 museums (the National Archaeological Museum, National Museum of Contemporary Art, the Ethnographic Museum, the Museum of the Acropolis, etc.), the National School of Public Health, as well as those for judiciary clerks, the National Centre for State Administration, the Foundation for government grants, the Olympic Sports Centre in Athens and the Stadium of Peace and friendship, the Greek farmers’ Security Organization, the Fund for Agriculture and Livestock, the Organization for export credit insurance and the company "Invest in Greece", the National Fund for Entrepreneurship and Development, the Fund for business involvement in the field of high technology, the Scientific Park of Patras, the State aircraft factory, the Athens News Agency, the National Library, the National Centre of the book and others.


Tags: closures mergers state structures commitments government
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