NEWS

Samaras pledges that one new civil servant will be hired for each one fired by 2014

Prime Minister Antonis Samaras has issued a statement hailing the latest agreement between the troika and Greece and insisting that the 15,000 civil servants who are to be sacked in the coming months would all be replaced.

“At a time when uncertainty and concern around the world is rising, Greece is stabilizing and its position is becoming more secure,” said Samaras several hours after it had been revealed that the troika and his government had agreed on a series of actions that would secure the next loan tranche of 2.8 billion euros and pave the way for the next instalment of 6 billion euros.

Samaras focussed on the dismissal of some 4,000 civil servants this year and up to 11,000 next year, which the government had initially resisted.

He said that the redundancies would come from civil servants guilty of breaching their code of conduct, those who work for organizations that are to be closed down or merged and from early retirements.

The prime minister, however, emphasized that all the departing bureaucrats would be replaced by new hires.

“For each person that leaves, a new one will be hired through a totally meritocratic process,” he said. “This is not the so-called human sacrifice that some claim. This is a marked improvement of our public sector and it is what Greek society is demanding.”

The agreement between Athens and the troika means Greece will receive more than 7 billion euros to complete its bank recapitalizations. Samaras said in his statement that this would mean that options such as a haircut for depositors would not be considered in Greece.

He also claimed that property owners would pay 15 percent less in emergency property tax this year and pledged that this would be the last year it would be levied via electricity bills.

Samaras ended his statement on an upbeat note, looking forward to the time when Greece would be free of its bailout commitments.

“Soon, Greece will not depend on the memorandums,” he said. “Greece will have growth, it will be competitive and outward-looking. In other words, we will have a strong Greece.”