Row breaks out between gov’t, opposition over rehiring of metro workers


A row broke out on Wednesday between Alternate Minister for Transport Christos Spirtzis and New Democracy’s Lefteris Avgerakis after the latter slammed the former for rehiring 230 Athens metro workers just days before Greeks are expected to vote in a referendum on the government’s negotiations with international creditors.

Avgerakis, the main opposition party’s shadow minister for transport, called out Spirtzis in Parliament after his decision to rehire workers sacked following an investigation by the General Inspector for Public Administration was announced by Alternate Minister for Administrative Reform Giorgos Katrougalos.

Katrougalos was speaking to a meeting of metro workers as part of the government’s campaign to convince Greeks to vote against the creditors’ proposal in Sunday’s plebiscite when he hailed Spirtzis’s decision.

The announcement prompted Avgerakis to accuse Spirtzis of vote-mongering, with the latter responding that the 230 workers in question were originally hired under New Democracy, with its “customary clientelist practices.”

The 230 workers were sacked in 2010 after the probe deemed their hiring to be in violation of approved procedure.