Work hours to get longer

Civil ser­vants will be on the job 40 hours a week by end of month, min­is­ter says

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

The gov­ern­ment ac­cused New Democ­racy of po­lit­i­cal op­por­tunism yes­ter­day af­ter the main op­po­si­tion party wa­vered over whether it would sup­port a change to the law that will lead to civil ser­vants work­ing 40 rather than 37.5 hours each week.

In­te­rior Min­is­ter Yian­nis Ragousis ac­cused ND leader An­to­nis Sa­ma­ras of us­ing his party as a per­sonal ve­hi­cle. “This is just an­other ex­am­ple of the con­stant con­tra­dic­tion caused by the choice of ND’s leader for the last year and a half to put his per­sonal in­ter­ests ahead of those of the nation or his party,” he said.

The min­is­ter launched his at­tack af­ter ND said it would vote for a law forc­ing pub­lic ser­vants to work an ex­tra 2.5 hours each week.

Ear­lier, the con­ser­va­tives had sug­gested that they might block the amend­ment be­cause they were not con­vinced by Ragousis’s claim that by in­creas­ing civil ser­vants’ hours, it would be like hir­ing an ex­tra 45,000 peo­ple in the pub­lic sec­tor at no ex­tra cost.

“We did not po­si­tion our­selves to be dog­mat­i­cally against an in­crease in work­ing hours but we called on you to back up your claims,” said ND deputy Chris­tos Zois. “What is your plan? Where is the study that you based your pro­jec­tions on?”

Ragousis said that he would not give ex­pla­na­tions about how the gov­ern­ment ar­rived at its fig­ures. “We said that we are mak­ing this amend­ment to save costs on 45,000 civil ser­vants but even if it was just 10 em­ploy­ees, we would still back this amend­ment.

“It is a mat­ter of prin­ci­ple and re­spon­si­bil­ity for pri­vate sec­tor em­ploy­ees on the one hand and pub­lic sec­tor work­ers on the other.”

Ragousis has sug­gested that the re­form would save Greece 1 bil­lion eu­ros but he has also stressed that the gov­ern­ment wants more of a bal­ance be­tween the work­ing de­mands on pri­vate and pub­lic sec­tor em­ploy­ees.

Pop­u­lar Ortho­dox Rally (LAOS) ex­pressed its sup­port for the gov­ern­ment’s mea­sure, while the Com­mu­nist Party and the Coali­tion of the Rad­i­cal Left (SYRIZA) were op­posed.

Speak­ing to Skai TV yes­ter­day morn­ing, Ragousis said that Greece’s 750,000 civil ser­vants are likely to be work­ing longer hours be­fore the end of the month.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Greece

© PressReader. All rights reserved.