Mitsotakis says left-led government has hijacked the state


Conservative leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis Tuesday accused the leftist-led government of appointing scores of political cronies to prime state positions in a bid to control the state mechanism even after the coalition’s term in office is over.

“We won’t allow the government to take the state keys to Koumoundourou,” Mitsotakis said in reference to ruling SYRIZA’s headquarters, adding that he did not recognize the government’s selection procedure.

The New Democracy leader vowed to introduce a bill that will streamline public administration if his party wins the next election.

Mitsotakis said that he will abolish unnecessary posts set up by SYRIZA and strengthen the role of general directors, who will be chosen on strictly meritocratic criteria.

“We will open the doors of the public sector to those who deserve it,” he said.

According to the opposition, over the past three years, the government has hired 21,000 employees on permanent contracts and another 15,000 staff on short-term contracts.

“The cost is over 600 million euros and it is being shouldered by Greek taxpayers,” Mitsotakis said.

He accused the coalition of making irregular appointments and permanent hirings through the back door and of creating unnecessary agencies in order to accommodate its political acolytes. He also said the administration had manipulated the Supreme Council for Personnel Selection (ASEP), an independent agency, by tampering with the selection process.

ND is said to be planning to scrap many of these posts, in line with Mitsotakis’s pledge for a smaller, more flexible state. However, he has pledged that there will be no sackings in the civil service.