First list of state bodies facing chop is drafted

The first list of state bodies that are to be merged and abolished as part of a plan to streamline the civil service – one of a series of pledges by Greece to foreign creditors – has been drafted by State Minister Dimitris Stamatis, Kathimerini understands.

The list features 17 organizations and 46 public libraries employing a total of 416 staff, according to sources who said that the libraries would be merged into one.

Of the 416 employees, at least 216 are to join a list of 2,000 layoffs that Athens is to attempt to carry out over the coming weeks. The remaining layoffs are expected to consist of public sector workers who have been found guilty of disciplinary offenses and others deemed to be incompetent in an ongoing evaluation process.

Indicative of wasteful practices in the Greek public sector is the fact that nine of the 17 organizations due to be abolished reportedly do not appear to employ any staff. “Essentially these are organizations that have no purpose but that continue to receive state funding and whose boards of directors continue to get paid,” a source told Kathimerini.

The drafting of the list is just one step in the government’s gargantuan task of dismissing 4,000 employees by the end of this year and another 11,000 by the end of 2014. Although troika officials have not stipulated a specific deadline for the first 2,000 layoffs, it is expected that they will want to see signs of progress when they return for talks on June 4.

In view of this pressure, and with the next summit of eurozone finance ministers expected in the first half of June, the government is said to be looking for a larger state organization from which to draw some of the staff for the first wave of 2,000 layoffs and the 12,500 employees who are to enter a labor mobility scheme. Kathimerini understands that state broadcaster ERT and Hellenic Defense Systems (EAS) are likely to be targeted for streamlining.

Rumors of ERT coming under the knife fuelled a barrage of media reports regarding 2,000 layoffs at ERT yesterday but the reports were not confirmed.