NEWS

Officials play down rift over layoffs

Education, Administrative Reform ministry sources say pledges will be honored

Government officials on Thursday sought to play down a rift between Education Minister Andreas Loverdos and Administrative Development Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis over the possible firing of administrative staff at universities as part of a civil service overhaul demanded by the troika.

Sources at the Education Ministry insisted that the leadership there was committed to fulfilling the government’s pledges to its international creditors but did not refer directly to Loverdos nor comment on statements by the latter on Wednesday, according to which universities are understaffed and will not see any staff fired.

Meanwhile, officials over at the Administrative Development Ministry struck a similar note, underlining Mitsotakis’s insistence that the targets for a civil service streamlining set by the foreign lenders would be honored.

Interior Minister Argyris Dinopoulos threw his hat into the ring too, telling Skai that “no minister should look out for their own ministry alone.” In the same interview, however, Dinopoulos insisted that there would be no dismissals of local authority employees, who come under the supervision of his ministry, and that additional time would be given for transfers of staff from one municipality to another as part of the broader civil service overhaul.

In a related development, Alternate Finance Minister Christos Staikouras met with rectors representing the country’s main universities to discuss operational problems faced by the institutions due to cutbacks in state funding.

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