Government aims for shortcut on state sector reforms

An amendment was submitted to Parliament on Friday that would allow the government to legislate any changes to the organization and operation of ministries, public services and local authorities via presidential decrees, which allow the reforms to apply without receiving MPs’ approval.

The legislation was signed by Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras and Administrative Reform Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and will be debated at committee level on Monday. After that, it is likely to be discussed by the plenary on Wednesday and Thursday.

Apart from criticism by opposition parties, the two-party government is also bracing itself for discontent from its own lawmakers, who might feel they are being excluded from the decision-making process. Government sources insisted that the amendment is designed to speed up structural reforms that are aimed at improving the public sector’s efficiency.

The government’s move came just a day after two New Democracy MPs failed to support an amendment on the civil service mobility scheme, which was needed for Greece to receive its next installment of bailout funding.

Also on Friday, the government finalized its plan for finding 12,500 civil servants to place in the mobility scheme by September. Apart from 3,000 municipal police officers, the Education and Health ministries will contribute 1,500 employees each.

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