Civil service mobility scheme target to be met, ministry insists

There will be no major hiccups in the government’s bid to place 12,500 public sector workers in a labor mobility scheme by the end of this month, Administrative Reform Ministry sources said Monday.

Troika officials are due back in Athens on September 16, before the leading representatives from the European Commission, European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund begin talks with the government on September 22. One of the aspects of Greece’s adjustment program that the inspectors will be checking on is whether the mobility scheme is progressing. Athens has committed to placing by the end of the year 25,000 civil servants in the program, from where they will be transferred to other positions or dismissed.

Ministry sources said that the fact Greece is on track to meet its end-of-September deadline for the first 12,500 civil servants might help the government convince its lenders to extend by a few weeks or months the end-of-year cutoff point for the next 12,500 workers to be identified. The same source said that the majority of the next batch of employees to be transferred would come from ministries and local authorities.

Greece also has to fire 4,000 civil servants by the end of the year and a total of 15,000 by the end of 2014. Some 2,000 have already been dismissed and the government is aiming to free another 2,000 positions by taking disciplinary action against public sector workers found to have used forged university degrees to get their jobs or to have committed other serious offenses.

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