Rift deepens over civil servant dismissals

A rift between central and local government over a scheme aimed at pushing thousands of civil servants into redundancy deepened on Thursday as the heads of dozens of municipalities and entities defied calls by Administrative Reform Minister Antonis Manitakis to submit lists with the names of workers to be included in the scheme.

Meanwhile, it emerged that the few lists that were submitted by a handful of municipalities and entities included the names of employees who were entitled to exemptions, including those with disabilities. Ministry officials have reportedly demanded that those lists be sent again with the exempt employees removed.

Meanwhile, Manitakis issued a statement that appeared to go against the ministry’s declared commitments to the country’s foreign creditors by stating that he would not approve a single layoff, only transfers of civil servants from one department to another.

“I will not fire a single civil servant, nor will I put my signature under any decision for dismissal,” Manitakis told Parliament’s public administration committee. He was responding to a question lodged by leftist SYRIZA MP Alexis Mitropoulos about impending civil servant layoffs.

A new austerity program voted through Parliament earlier this month foresees 80,000 dismissals from the civil service by the end of 2016.

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