Parliament committee challenges plan to ax state bodies

A parliamentary committee on Tuesday challenged a government plan to shut down 21 state organizations as part of troika-imposed cost-cutting measures, indicating that some aspects of the legislation violate the Greek Constitution.

The objections raised by the technical committee come in the wake of a series of court rulings challenging reforms introduced by the troika – chiefly cuts to civil servants’ salaries and pensions.

In its report, the committee invoked several articles of the Constitution that it maintained are being breached. The abolition of a state organization can only be carried out if it has been preceded by a comprehensive study that redefines the operation of the state after the administrative overhaul, the experts noted.

The committee also objected to the allocation of external advisers to evaluate the efficiency of state organizations and the employees who staff them.

The ministry did not issue a public response yesterday to the committee’s report, which was expected to feed criticism by the political opposition.

In a related development, administrative employees at Athens University, who staged a three-month strike against the government’s civil service overhaul last autumn, yesterday threatened to restart their action, accusing the Education Ministry of not honoring its promises.