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The labour reserve for employees in 151 state enterprises is launched

13 September 2011 / 16:09:40  GRReporter
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The failure in the public finances recovery and the constant pressure for reforms by the supervisory Troika forced the Greek government to launch the labour reserve program in the public sector and dismissal of employees too. The Ministry of Finance issued a decree, which started the program for 3500 employees working in 151 state enterprises and organizations. The text states that the proposals for the employees who will be included in the program should be ready by September 26 and that excess staff should be sought first among staff that is to retire or entitled to submit retirement documents, or have low knowledge base.

According to some sources, the Parliament is expected to vote in the coming days the amendment under which 200,000 employees working in the state enterprises listed on the Athens Stock Exchange will go to the labour reserve. If the government manages to fulfill this plan in such a short time, another 20 thousand people will end up outside the public sector very soon since the decree states that, "at least" 10 per cent of the total number of employees of each company will leave.

Then, private companies controlled by the Supreme Council for Staff Selection within two months will evaluate the redundant employees in enterprises and organizations having staff of at least 100 people. At least for the moment, however, the measure will not apply to post offices, water supplying companies and the ports in Athens and Thessaloniki.

The labour reserve program will include the staff of the Greek Railways and their affiliated companies, the public transport, the subway, the company managing the Egnatia highway and the other Greek ports. The list also includes the state broadcaster ERT, the ANA news agency, the arms, bus and airline industries, research and science centres, museums and cultural organizations, and dozens of foundations and entities under state control.

According to the law on the implementation of the austerity program, the Supreme Council for Staff Selection will compile a separate list for each company or organization. The lists will be based on evaluation criteria for employees as objective qualities, marital status, age, experience, special knowledge, etc.

According to the measures planned in the austerity program, the specific employees identified as redundant staff will continue to receive 60 per cent of their basic salary for one year. The payment of this salary will be suspended in case the person is employed on any contractual base. After this period, and if not hired by the enterprises, the employees will be fired.

Meanwhile, the government spokesman Ilyas Mosialos announced that the decision to close the first public TV channel ET1 will be tabled in parliament to vote it next week. Two institutes, the optical-acoustical institute and the optical-acoustical archives will be closed in parallel. According to the Minister, the cuts in state media will save the state about € 60 million per year.

The measure provoked fierce debate in Parliament. "We are not going to fire 300,000 workers. We are not doing this because we are sadists, but to cope with a dramatic situation," replied the Deputy Interior Minister Dinos Rovlias to the criticisms by the left coalition SYRIZA that the government is using the labour reserve program as a" weapon for mass destruction of the state sector." The Minister said that the purpose of the government is to reduce the number of civil servants by 151,000 by 2015 and only one per 10 left will be assigned in 2011 and the ratio for the next three years will be one appointed for five left.

Tags: SocietyPoliticsCivil servantsLabour reserveState enterprisesDismissalsGreece
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