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Greece adopts Bill to cut 15,000 civil servant jobs

PTI Athens | Updated on March 12, 2018

The Greek Parliament has voted to adopt a law that provides for the dismissal of 15,000 civil servants as part of austerity measures imposed by the country’s international creditors.

After heated debate, 168 deputies had voted for the Bill yesterday, with 123 voting against and one abstaining.

The new law will overturn what had been a guarantee for workers in Greece’s notoriously bloated civil service of a job for life.

Around 800 people turned up outside Parliament to protest against the measure in a demonstration called by trade unions.

The Bill provides for the dismissal of 15,000 civil servants by the end of 2014, including 4,000 this year, to meet the conditions set by Athens’ creditors for billions in bailout loans.

Civil service trade confederation Adedy condemned what it called the “politicians who are dismantling the public service and destroying the welfare state’’.

Private union GSEE said the Bill would only worsen Greece’s dire unemployment rate, which currently stands at 27 per cent.

Slashing an unwieldy public service is a condition set by Greece’s so-called “troika” of creditors — the International Monetary Fund, European Union and European Central Bank — to unlock loans worth €8.8 billion ($11.4 billion).

The EU and the IMF have committed €240 billion in rescue loans since 2010, with the heavily indebted country obliged to pursue austerity measures in exchange for the international aid it needs to avoid bankruptcy.

The new law will speed dismissal procedures, which previously made it impossible to sack civil servants and saw the public sector swell over the years as every new administration brought in its own people.

The new law also extends the weekly working hours for teachers, opens a number of professions to competition and reduces a controversial property tax by 15 per cent.

Published on April 29, 2013

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