New law paves way for public sector staff to be permanent

New law paves way for public sector staff to be permanent

The leftist-led coalition on Wednesday passed into law a reform that effectively helps state workers on short-term contracts to secure long-term employment amid accusations from the opposition of favoring their political supporters. 

The legislation, which garnered the votes of leftist SYRIZA and Independent Greeks (ANEL) but none of the opposition parties, abolishes a 24-month limit to the renewal of short-term contracts and the three-month obligatory pause between contracts. It applies to all contract workers who have been hired since November 2016. 

According to critics, the legislation effectively excludes new entrants and is a tactic aimed at securing the backing of its supporters ahead of scheduled general elections next year. 

Administrative Reform Minister Olga Gerovasili, whose ministry drafted the legislation, was not in Parliament for the vote.

But the reform was defended by other cabinet members, notably Alternate Health Minister Pavlos Polakis, who said it covered increased needs for contract workers due to restrictions on permanent hirings. 

The conservative opposition’s response was scathing. “You will go down in history as a monument to unconstitutional, anti-parliamentary behavior,” New Democracy’s parliamentary spokesman Costas Tzavaras remarked.

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