NEWS

Mitsotakis turns to Supreme Court as more mayors resist evaluation

Administrative Reform Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis is on Thursday to forward to Supreme Court prosecutor Efterpi Koutzamani the details of five mayors who have refused to provide the government with data for the evaluation of civil servants.

The move, which the minister heralded on Wednesday in comments on Mega TV channel, fueled tensions further between the government and SYRIZA as new Attica Governor Rena Dourou, who is affiliated with the leftists, appeared to be building a front against a public service evaluation scheme.

Mitsotakis is to forward Koutzamani the files relating to the municipalities of Halandri, Zografou, Larissa, Nikaia and Patra where officials have obstructed public administration inspectors from entering to obtain the data that municipal officials have refused to submit. The mayors of Athens, Thessaloniki, Piraeus, Aspropyrgos and Rethymno, on the other hand, have cooperated with state inspectors.

In his comments to Mega, Mitsotakis blasted Dourou for resisting efforts to review public sector employment contracts and for insisting that the evaluation scheme, one of the troika’s many demands, is illegal. “How can she talk about legality when she refuses to enforce a law passed in Parliament?” Mitsotakis told the station. “Law abidance cannot be a la carte.”

On a visit to President Karolos Papoulias on Wednesday, Mitsotakis played down the growing tensions over the civil service scheme as a “small crossing of swords” but noted that he was determined for the law to be enforced.

The number of municipalities refusing to cooperate with the government over the evaluation of civil servants is growing. Apart from the 19 that had stated from last week that they would not send their employees’ details to the Administrative Reform Ministry, five more have failed to do so, including Patra and Larissa, while councilors at another three – Nafplio, Perama and Holargos – voted on Wednesday to block the process.

“I am in favor of evaluation because I come from the private sector,” Holargos Mayor Ilias Apostolopoulos told Kathimerini, adding that he objects to the government having already decided that 15 percent of workers will be deemed not up to standard. He said that he would like to wait for the Council of State to rule on the evaluation process. A decision is due next month.

Apostolopoulos said the municipal council’s decision would not affect the process of checking on employees for forged degrees. He said one municipal worker in Holargos had already been fired by him for using a forged high school diploma.

“Nobody wants employees who got their jobs by using forged qualifications,” said Halandri Mayor Simos Roussos, who added that checks are continuing at the municipality.