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Pre-Christmas and pre-election moves

18 December 2014 / 18:12:48  GRReporter
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Greece is going through yet another serious political crisis and is on the brink of early elections, while it is not clear how it will be financed after the technical extension of the second bailout expires at the end of February 2015.

This has not prevented parliament chairman Evangelos Meimarakis from preparing a Christmas gift for parliament employees, amounting to 150,000 euro.

In early December, the association of employees had submitted to the parliament leadership a request, in which its chairman asked for financial support for the needs of the organization. These include Christmas gifts, prizes for the employees’ children who have performed well at school as well as other activities of the association.

The request even states that the specific costs are included in the budget of the parliament. It has been satisfied with a decision of chairman Evangelos Meimarakis, which has been submitted to the website of parliamentary transparency.

At the same time, after the unsuccessful first round of presidential elections in Greece, the likelihood of early elections in the country is increasing. Despite the expectations that the ruling coalition will still be able to secure the required 180 votes in the third round on 29 December, it is preparing for the scenario under which Greece will have a new cabinet early next year.

The amendment submitted for voting by Minister of Administrative Reform and eGovernment Kyriakos Mitsotakis is in the same vein as well. It will arrange a number of regulations in favour of civil servants. The critical publications in the Greek media are further emphasized by the fact that it was attached to the bill of another institution, namely the Ministry of Health, on "Establishment of an observatory for dementia."

In particular, the amendment provides for the following:

- Extension of the period within which civil servants can apply to be moved to other departments by 31 March 2015. In practice, this means that there will be no cuts until that time.

- Extension of the deadline for the assessment of civil servants by the end of June 2015.

- Honoured sportspersons appointed to government jobs are allowed to move to the General Secretariat for Sports, despite the legal ban.

- Exchange of civil servants with employees working in the offices of the European Union or in other Member States within the context of the programmes for passing on technical experience in the field of public administration.

- Appointments of honoured sportsmen and staff who fall into the categories described in a previous decree of the Ministry.

In response to the angry publications, the associates of Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis stated that the measures were not of a campaign nature, explaining that they would affect about 20 employees who had to be reinstated in their posts by virtue of court decisions. However, the extension of this deadline was necessary, as the offices where they had worked were already closed and some of the employees had failed to submit applications for moving to other departments.

Tags: PoliticsElectionsParliament employeesCivil servantsEvangelos MeimarakisKyriakos Mitsotakis
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