Bid to weed out crooked civil servants quickly

The government aims to speed up the disciplinary process against some 4,000 civil servants who are being investigated for a range of misdemeanors and crimes with the aim of concluding the procedure by early 2014, Kathimerini understands.

According to sources at the Administrative Development Ministry, the process of identifying oath-breaking civil servants will be accelerated alongside the evaluation of some 450,000 public workers. It is expected that a significant number of those charged with offenses will be convicted while a large proportion of those being evaluated are expected to fail the test, a ministry official said.

Administrative Reform Minister Antonis Manitakis told Parliament on Thursday that “there must be an end to years of impunity” so that “worthy and competent” civil servants are protected. The minister accused independent corruption watchdog Leandros Rakintzis of foot-dragging on 1,900 cases since 2007.

According to official figures, 1,550 cases are pending at the disciplinary councils and another 450 at appeal level.

Manitakis clashed with Nikos Voutsis, a leftist opposition SYRIZA MP, who condemned a recent rash of media reports regarding oath-breaking civil servants as “government-guided propaganda” aimed at tarring all employees with the same brush ahead of layoffs.

Manitakis said Voutsis was pouring oil onto the fire by speaking of a “pogrom.”

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