Sitins continue amid rumors of more layoffs

Government sources on Monday refuted reports that the country’s troika of foreign lenders had called for an additional 22,000 layoffs in the public sector next year even as municipal employees continued sitins at hundreds of city halls and municipal services across the country to protest their inclusion in a fast-track scheme to redundancy.

The demand for 22,000 layoffs next year is said to have been forwarded to the Finance Ministry by International Monetary Fund officials, a report denied by ministry officials. According to the unconfirmed reports, these layoffs would be in addition to the total of 80,000 civil service departures demanded by the troika through 2016. Sources told Kathimerini that the rumors could be a tactic by the IMF in the ongoing diplomatic standoff between the Fund and eurozone officials on the Greek issue.

Meanwhile the government was struggling to enforce the induction of 2,000 civil servants into a pre-redundancy scheme by the end of this year, as promised to the troika.

The deadline given by the Administrative Reform Ministry to municipalities to provide lists of employees to join the layoff scheme expired Monday with only 20 municipalities reported to have submitted the requested data. Ministry sources said that data would be drawn from a 2010 census of civil servants if local authority managers persisted with their intransigent stance.

Sitins continued at ministry buildings and city halls across the country, meanwhile, with municipal workers in Thessaloniki also occupying creches and Citizens’ Advice Bureaus (KEP).

In Athens, workers occupied the Health, Agricultural Development and Merchant Marine ministries while similar action may continue on Tuesday.

Several mayors, including the capital’s Giorgos Kaminis and Thessaloniki’s Yiannis Boutaris, have been resisting the initiative by central government.