A surprise visit by Labor Minister Kostis Hatzidakis to a Single Social Security Entity (EFKA) office in Agia Paraskevi, northern Athens, on Friday found that only 21 of the 35 regular employees were at work, while complaints about insufficient processing and huge delays in dealing with worker and pensioner demands are mounting.
Disciplinary inspections and other investigative measures don’t usually fetch results, as the same employees continue to occupy the same posts, frustrating the public.
On Tuesday, Hatzidakis demanded the disciplinary probing of 10 cases that he dubbed “the odyssey” of workers and pensioners, due to the EFKA agencies forwarding people from one department to another; they also fail to respond to questions for months or even years, and will not answer phone calls, emails or letters.
“I have decided to forward for disciplinary inspection 10 extreme cases of citizens hampered by EFKA agencies,” Hatzidakis stated, “but that is not enough: We are proceeding with the immediate upgrading of the call center and to the expansion of EFKA’s online transactions. I want to make it clear that any despotic behavior by employees will not be tolerated. They also tarnish the image of all EFKA employees doing their job well. If needed, more disciplinary probes will follow.”