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877 people hostages to administrative inconsistencies

14 April 2010 / 16:04:48  GRReporter
3542 reads

Victoria Mindova

Chain of protesters closed the streets around the Ministry of Finance in the center of Athens.877 people approved by the Personnel Selection recruitment program (ASEP) of the Supreme Council came out to protest against stopping it in the past six months. The program covers the need to fill jobs in the public sector. All applicants must pass a series of examinations set by the Ministry of Finance. The last conducted test on state application program was in early April last year. About 20 thousand people from all over Greece were tested. The conditions for taking the exam is for candidates to take a two-year specialization and training that will prepare them to acquire the necessary qualifications. 

"After graduating from university I could not find a job for a long time. A friend of mine told me about the new ASEP programs and I decided to join the process of changing my specialization," says 28-year-old man with a degree in economics and went on: "I studied for two more years and worked a night job so I can take all my courses. I passed the test with a very good score and they even sent me the contract for appointment from the district tax management. I signed it, and when the time came to be approved by the Ministry of Finance, the Minister refused.” The man says that after a year of waiting he has applied for a vacant position in the accounting department of a private company Tellas SA. His documents were approved, but when they searched him in Google, results showed he is listed in the ASEP program, and so they did not give him the job. "They refused to hire me because technically I was approved for a position in the public sector. They could not invest in me, provided that after a year or two I can leave," says the young man. 

Young people are angry at the socialist government of PASOK, because according to their words, at the beginning the ministry was promising that the appointment programs will not be frozen. Subsequently, however, the filling up of new jobs was blocked. "I passed the test successfully. They called me from the Ministry of Finance and I told me that I was approved for a position in the Waste Court. I left my previous job because after three weeks I had to start the new job. At the last minute Minister Papakonstantinou said that he could not allow any new appointments and so today I am unemployed," says 29-year-old girl with a university degree in economics. 

The main problem of the Personnel Selection recruitment program (ASEP) of the Supreme Council is that the approved applicants cannot apply for a job in the private sector after they have entered the waiting lists for appointments in the public sector. The work horizon in the public sector for nearly 900 professionals is increasingly moving away after the announced system 5-to-1. In the political show PRESS on the Greek National Television Net 1, the Minister of Finance George Papakonstantinou announced that the approved applicants of ASEP will be appointed gradually until the end of 2013. "I have family and children," says 31-year-old woman, adding: "What will I do if I am not in the first wave of appointed and I remain unemployed for the next three years? I cannot get a job in the private sector and I cannot be hired for the position I was already approved for." 

At the same time, manufacture representatives of popular markets in Greece had gathered 50 meters away. Their protest was against the introduction of a new type of taxation, whereby the labor costs for tillage and other operating costs will not be recognized and will be taxed on earned profit."We are not against the introduction of cash registers in stalls, on the contrary, but the government must take into account the particularities of our sector. We are not just traders buying and selling goods. Our families, women, children and parents toil all year to make production on the traditional markets and statesmen want to put us on one level with traders," says farm worker from the island of Crete, who had come to take part in the protest. 

The main frustration of agricultural workers is that instead of introducing fairness, the new tax reform opened new fields of contention between retailers and producers of agricultural goods. While farmers protested against the new tax changes, traders of fruits and vegetables opened their street stalls. "Traders had to support us in this protest, or at least not to open their stands today, but instead yesterday evening they were buying double quantities for their wholesale warehouses," says Nikos with a smile, tomatoes producer from Attica.

Tags: Economy Greece protest strike public sector
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