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Over 20 thousand appointments in the public sector in 2012

27 February 2013 / 15:02:20  GRReporter
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The cuts in the public sector remain one of the hottest issues that the Greek government has to resolve but it does not have the will to deal with it yet. This is the conclusion after another meeting of Finance Minister Yiannis Stournaras with his counterpart from the Ministry of Administrative Reform Antonis Manitakis, who seems to be one of the biggest opponents to the cuts of public workers. Greece's obligations under the Memorandum of financial support include the removal of 150 thousand public workers by 2015 as part of the programme for fiscal consolidation and structural reform in the country.

As part of this programme, 25 thousand public workers should be cut in 2013. So far, the government has been avoiding direct cuts and trying to introduce different types of measures in order to not seriously affect the interests of public sector workers. The first government began a mass early retirement of employees. Then, it tried to introduce the labour reserve, which proved to be a failure. Later, it renamed the programme for the dismissal of public workers to a 'movement' programme, which does not involve direct layoffs either, instead it leaves a loophole allowing public workers to 'move' from one service to another, without cutting them.

Meanwhile, the heads of the lenders’ mission of the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank and the European Commission are expected to return to Athens early next week. They will not be happy about the resistance of the coalition government to fulfil its part of the deal as regards the optimization of the activity and expenditure of the public sector. The government, in turn, has found new reasons to delay the immediate cuts: "The actions we can take should not further deteriorate the quality of life of the Greeks. The citizens have already paid a high price for the crisis and the new cuts may be the cause of escalation of political and social instability," To Vima states. Circles close to the Prime Minister give the example of the political deadlock in which Italy found itself after the forceful imposition of budget cuts over the last two years.

Representatives of the Ministry of Finance, who are in direct contact with the supervisors, comment that the lenders’ Troika insists on dismissals in the public sector as reported by Naftemporiki. However, the government prefers to avoid them at all costs and is ready to continue the negotiations on this issue. Finance Minister Yiannis Stournaras told Mega TV that the issue of dismissals was an open question subject to discussion. The granting of the next tranche of 2.8 billion euro in March depends on its settling. "Basically, nobody is talking about the dismissal of 25 thousand people. 25 thousand people will enter the so-called "movement" programme. They will be transferred to other jobs, i.e. where there is a lack of staff and we need them," Stournaras comments on the problem.

The latest data the Ministry of Administrative Reform presented to parliament show that there are 668 thousand public workers in Greece. Between January and October 2012, 3,793 permanent employees and slightly more than 29 thousand temporary staff were recruited in the public sector. There is yet no answer to the question of why the public sector hired employees instead of dismissing them.

 

Tags: EconomyMarketsPublic sectorCutsGreeceCrisis
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