Issue of Greek state sector layoffs remains open

During a meeting with Minister of Administrative Reform Antonis Manitakis Monday in Athens, representatives of the country’s international lenders discussed the issue of a public sector overhaul, but stopped short of demanding a reduction in the number of civil servants.

Sources told Kathimerini that representatives of the so-called troika did not explicitly press the government on the issue, but they did remind Greek officials of the country’s obligations under the bailout agreements, according to which the majority of the 25,000 public servants that are set to be placed in a labor mobility scheme by the end of the year must eventually exit the state sector.

The issue will be discussed in more detail during a fresh meeting between the two sides, probably later this week, the same sources said.

Though having ruled out layoffs, Manitakis indicated recently that he would toe the line. “We are and we will be consistent in meeting all the commitments we have made and everything we have signed,” he said. Ministry officials meanwhile ruled out “indiscriminate, across-the-board sackings,” noting that if there have to be layoffs, oathbreaking and incompetent staff will be the first to go.

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