Greek Parliament approves amendment on civil service jobs needed for bailout loan

Greece’s parliament approved an amendment to the country’s public sector labor mobility plan that paves the way for payment of the next loan instalment from the country’s 240 billion-euro bailout from the euro area and International Monetary Fund.

Lawmakers passed the amendment, which was added to legislation on a new tax procedure code, in a vote televised live on state-run Vouli TV. The measure meets a requirement for Greece to issue all necessary legal acts to place 4,200 employees on the mobility plan before the end of the month.

The amendment was the last condition Greece needed to meet to receive a payment of 2.5 billion euros endorsed by euro-area finance ministers earlier this month.

The legislation passed on Thursday overrides a law passed last week that protects civil servants with postgraduate degrees and those with disabilities or other social needs from being forced into a labor reserve, where they have eight months to find other jobs in the public sector or face dismissal.

Athens took the step after the Euro Working Group of technical experts that advise eurozone finance ministers found fault on Wednesday with the existing plans for the mobility scheme and said it was not convinced Greece would meet its target of transferring 4,200 workers immediately.

The disagreement over the labor pool means the Euro Working Group will reconvene on Friday, after the amendment has been passed in the Greek Parliament, to approve the release of 2.5 billion euros from the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) and another 1.5 billion euros in profits made on the purchase of Greek bonds by eurozone central banks.

The process is not due to be completed until Monday, when a compliance report will be issued and national parliaments will also give their approval for the disbursement.

Also on Monday, the International Monetary Fund’s executive board is due to meet to decide on the transfer of its share of the latest bailout tranche, worth 1.8 billion euros, to Greece.

[Kathimerini English Edition & Bloomberg]

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