NEWS

High-ranking civil servants face pay cuts

High-ranking civil servants are to see their salaries cut by a third as part of the government’s plans to slash spending while lower-income public functionaries can expect to see wage increases, Kathimerini understands.

According to sources, employees in the higher echelons of the public service will see their wages cut by 30 percent while those on the lower end of the salary scale can hope for increases ranging from 10 to 15 percent.

The reports of the planned changes emerged following a meeting on Wednesday between Interior Minister Yiannis Ragousis and officials representing Greece’s international creditors who are in Athens to inspect the government’s progress in pushing through reforms. Ragousis himself did not confirm or deny the reports but, in an interview with Kathimerini, he remarked that «the new salary scale for civil servants will be simple, updated and fair.» According to the new scale, he added, employees working in the same post and with the same qualifications will always receive the same salary.

Ragousis also confirmed the government’s plans to recruit one civil servant for every five that leave the service, dousing speculation that this ratio had been shifted to one hiring for every seven departures. The minister said that this rule would apply to all areas of the civil service, including the crucial sectors of health, education and social security. He noted that 53,335 civil servants left the sector last year. According to the new rule, 10,600 new staff are to be hired this year, he said, adding that this figure included some 2,700 employees who were to be transferred from the debt-ridden Hellenic Railways Organization (OSE) to other parts of the broader civil service.

As for his meeting on Wednesday with representatives of the European Commission, European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund – known collectively as the troika – Ragousis told Kathimerini that it went well. «There were no observations or criticism,» he said.