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The time has come for a drastic cut in the public sector

08 April 2013 / 21:04:38  GRReporter
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The mission of the supervisory Troika of the International Monetary Fund, the European Union and the European Commission is back in Athens to continue the negotiations regarding the recovery programme, which were cancelled three weeks ago. The main issue on the agenda of the talks between the government and the international lenders is the public sector funding. It continues to absorb a significant amount of the support funds to Greece just as it did at the beginning of the programme. At the same time, the economy of the country has declined by 20% over the past three years.

According to GRReporter’s latest poll, Greece cannot continue to support the same number of workers as in the pre-crisis period. The opinion that there cannot be a smaller public sector in the country with the same number of public workers is the preference of one-third of the Bulgarian and English-speaking readers of the website. The same opinion is shared by 37% of the voters in the Greek version of GRReporter, which presents news from Bulgaria in Greek.
The second most popular response among GRReporter’s readers is that unless urgent measures are taken, the public sector will completely destroy the private one - 40% of respondents in the poll in the English version of our website, 18% of the Bulgarian and only 13% of our Greek readers voted for it. We say, "completely destroy" because more than 500,000 jobs in the private sector alone have been lost since 2008.

The public workers, who have left the positions they occupied after the crisis, are either retired or have moved to other public services. The government policy pursued so far has defended the right of permanent employment of public sector workers. According to the majority of economists in the country, it is unfair to private sector employees who have no security at work. At the same time, the public sector costs dear to the state budget, which, in turn, rests on the aids granted by Europe and the International Monetary Fund.

The respondents, who are most pessimistic about the future of the country, have preferred to vote for the option that Greece will never be cured of the tumour called public sector. One in four Greek participants has preferred this option. They believe that the public administration in Greece will never improve and that there is no hope of direct layoffs of public workers. The same opinion is shared by 22% of the Bulgarian readers and only 8% of the English-speaking visitors to the website.

In recent months, there has been a serious discussion on the issue of the final dismissal of public workers (civil servants, tax officials, teachers, health care personnel, etc.) for whom a court decision has been issued in connection with an infringement or a criminal act. The majority of them are usually suspended from work, but have the right to receive part of their salary, or they are transferred to another position. Despite the breaches, they do not lose their jobs in the public sector and stay in the public system. "What layoffs are you talking about bearing in mind that they do not want to remove even the employees, who have committed frauds at work?" say 24%  of Bulgarian respondents, 6% and 8% of our English and Greek readers respectively.

The lowest is the number of the votes in support of the option that there should not be direct layoffs in the public sector because it will increase the already high unemployment. It currently reaches almost 27% with more than 1.1 million unemployed and the trend is increasing. This is the opinion shared by 18% of Greek readers, 12% of visitors to the English version of the site and only 8% of Bulgarian respondents.


Tags: SocietyPollGreeceCrisisPrivate sectorCuts
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