Fresh clash between ND, Reppas on civil service

A fresh rift broke out on Friday between conservative New Democracy and Administrative Reform Minister Dimitris Reppas, who held the same position in the previous Socialist government, over the implementation of a labor reserve scheme which involves thousands of civil servants who are close to retirement being put on heavily-docked wages for 12 months ahead of their likely dismissal.

In a written statement, ND?s spokesman Yiannis Michelakis noted that the previous Socialist government hired 10,862 civil servants this year, twice the limit of 5,333 set by foreign creditors. The statement, which invoked figures drawn from the European Commission?s most recent report on Greece, also criticized the Finance Ministry for hiring several employees ? four for the office of Alternate Finance Minister Pantelis Oikonomou — between November 4 to 11 when the Socialist PASOK government was collapsing.

State organizations and departments of several ministries were supposed to complete, by Tuesday, lists of employees who are to join the labor reserve scheme but most missed the deadline.

The delays are believed to have been caused by the demand that all employees prepare statements noting the number of years that count toward their pensions, not just from their current job but from previous employment. Many employees reportedly followed the advice of their unionists and refused to sign statements, thus hampering the transfer of their personal details to insurance funds and holding up the whole process.

Reppas reportedly has appealed to managers of state bodies and ministry departments to provide insurance funds with comprehensive documents containing the details of all staff who are to be included in the labor reserve program or who are slated for early retirement.

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