NEWS

Plan for 150,000 jobs to go in public sector by 2015

The Greek government is expected to deliver in January a plan outlining how it plans to reduce the number of civil servants by 150,000 over the next four years.

The issue was the subject of discussion on Monday between Administrative Reform Minister Dimitris Reppas and representatives of the EU and IMF, who are in Athens to check on how the government is proceeding with its reforms.

Reppas outlined the measures the government has already taken such as scrapping empty places in the public sector so they cannot be filled in the future, introducing a disciplinary code for civil servants and beginning the labor reserve scheme, which should see 30,000 workers leave their positions over the next few weeks.

However, there is speculation that the program, which largely involves employees close to the retirement age receiving 60 percent of their salary for 12 months, is moving too slowly to be effective and that the government will have to start sacking civil servants.

Finance Ministry Ilias Plaskovitis told Skai TV on Tuesday that there was no such need. ?What interests our partners is for there to be reduction in the number of people being paid from public coffers and we are achieving this through the labor reserve scheme,? he said.

He said that the scheme would not apply to employees in the ?narrow? public sector as this would cause staff shortages.