Public payroll cut by 8 bln euros

Unveiling the government’s plan to push forward a delayed overhaul of the civil service on Monday, Administrative Reform Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said the public sector has shed 200,000 employees over the past four years, reducing the state payroll for civil servants by 8 billion euros.

Presenting his ministry’s reform plan for the next two years at Zappeio Hall, Mitsotakis said authorities were “moving from quantitative targets to the fulfilment of qualitative reforms in accordance with an agenda which we are setting ourselves.”

The aim is to make the best possible use of the available human resources in Greece’s civil service, Mitsotakis said, citing a new system for selecting supervisors and presenting plans for boosting procedures aimed at increasing transparency and meritocracy.

“It is the first time that such a complex exercise is being carried out for the evaluation of structures, the drafting of staffing plans and the designation of positions of responsibility,” Mitsotakis told an audience that included officials of the European Commission and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

In the coming days, the ministry is to seek the approval of the Council of State for a series of draft presidential decrees outlining the planned overhaul.

Greek labor unions have vehemently protested changes to the civil service that have been demanded by the country’s troika of international creditors over the past four years, chiefly layoffs and a so-called mobility scheme of forced transfers and dismissals.