Mixed mes­sage on fir­ings

Gov­ern­ment un­clear on if it will sack civil ser­vants, as IMF rings alarm bell

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

As the In­ter­na­tional Mon­e­tary Fund’s top of­fi­cial in Athens warned yes­ter­day that Greece’s deficit re­duc­tion pro­gram was at risk of run­ning “off track” with­out fur­ther struc­tural re­forms, the gov­ern­ment, em­broiled in an ar­gu­ment about whether po­lit­i­cal con­sen­sus is needed for re­forms, sug­gested it might not sack civil ser­vants as part of its pack­age of mea­sures.

The IMF’s chief of mis­sion in Athens, Poul Thom­sen, warned at a con­fer­ence that Greece has to “rein­vig­o­rate” its struc­tural re­forms if it is to meet its tar­gets.

Fi­nance Min­is­ter Gior­gos Pa­pa­con­stanti­nou, at the same Econ­o­mist con­fer­ence, said that Greece would adopt ex­tra mea­sures this year to slash an­other 6 bil­lion eu­ros from pub­lic spend­ing. But he was less clear on whether the gov- ern­ment will meet one of the de­mands put for­ward by the IMF and the Euro­pean Union, which is to dras­ti­cally re­duce the amount of peo­ple work­ing in the pub­lic sec­tor.

Ear­lier in the week, In­te­rior Min­is­ter Yian­nis Ragousis had sug­gested that thou­sands of civil ser­vants could lose their jobs as part of the de­part­men­tal trans­fers that are tak­ing place, but Pa­pa­con­stanti­nou seemed to muddy the waters by say­ing that bu­reau­crats could be fired if a pub­lic body is shut down or merged.

The gov­ern­ment’s po­si­tion seemed even less clear when Ragousis told Par­lia­ment there would be no pub­lic sec­tor sack­ings be­cause sav­ings had to be made by not re­new­ing short-term con­tracts. Ragousis said this pol­icy led to a re­duc­tion of 50,000 em­ploy­ees in the civil ser­vice.

How­ever, Deputy Prime Min­is­ter Theodoros Pan­ga­los, who spoke to Skai TV, in­di­cated that pub­lic ser­vants who are not on per­ma­nent deals would have to go through an eval­u­a­tion process run by the Supreme Coun­cil for Per­son­nel Se­lec­tion (ASEP). Any­one deemed un­qual­i­fied would be de­nied a po­si­tion, said Pan­ga­los.

The deputy prime min­is­ter was also crit­i­cal of com­ments by EU Eco­nomic and Mon­e­tary Af­fairs Com­mis­sioner Olli Rehn, who called for po­lit­i­cal con­sen­sus over the re­forms in Greece. “His com­ments sug­gest that he is try­ing to at­tach po­lit­i­cal terms to the ad­min­is­tra­tive re­la­tion­ship be­tween the EU and Greece but this is not cor­rect and makes things worse,” said Pan­ga­los. “It is only nat­u­ral that if po­lit­i­cal terms are added, we will tell him to get his hands off.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Greece

© PressReader. All rights reserved.