Gov't leaders try to ease tensions over evaluation

Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and PASOK chief Evangelos Venizelos are on Thursday expected to discuss a rift that has appeared within the government over an evaluation scheme for civil servants which has been demanded by the troika.

In a meeting on Thursday morning which is expected to take stock of reform progress, the coalition leaders are expected to examine ways of reducing tensions that have emerged, chiefly between Administrative Reform Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and MPs from PASOK.

Mitsotakis insisted on Wednesday that laws which have been approved in Parliament must be implemented, and noted that some tension was to be expected in a coalition comprising traditional political rivals. The minister angered MPs on Tuesday when he said that a failure to honor agreed-to reforms could backfire, as was the case in 2011 when Greece was obliged to impose an emergency property tax.

Prominent PASOK MP Michalis Chrysochoidis sought to strike a conciliatory tone, noting that he did not object to plans to sack another 6,500 civil servants this year and suggesting that those who leave should be those who were recruited through the back door.

Leftist SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras claimed that the scheme was a “vehicle aimed at driving out” public sector workers who are not aligned with the two coalition parties.

In a related development, Interior Minister Argyris Dinopoulos told a press conference that all state bodies which operate under public law (NPDD) have submitted their details for a census though 133 of the 693 state bodies that operate under private law (NPID) have yet to do so.