Minister says Greek civil service reform a ‘titanic task’ that needs time

Administrative Reform Minister Antonis Manitakis described on Monday the process of reforming Greece’s public sector as a “titanic task” that would take time.

In a speech a few days before the troika was due to return to Greece, Manitakis appeared to be pleading for more time to complete a staff evaluation and implement a mobility scheme that would transfer employees from overstaffed departments to ones where there is a shortage of personnel.

“Administrative reform is a titanic task, it cannot happen from one day to the next or by magic,” he said during a conference in Athens. “It needs a lot of time because along with the reform, a lot of the deeply-rooted practices and attitudes need to change.”

Manitakis said Greece was entering the second phase of its administrative reform, which meant overhauling departments, devising new organizational structures and assessing personnel.

The reduction of civil servant numbers is to be one of the main topics of discussion when the troika returns to Athens this week.

Greece’s lenders are pressing for the disciplinary process for several thousand civil servants accused of offenses to be completed and for them to be removed from their jobs this year.

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