Bill repaying civil servants approved as hirings are pledged


Government and opposition officials clashed in Parliament on Thursday over a bill returning some 820 million euros in salaries and pensions to 280,000 civil servants, including police officers, firefighters and judges. Although based on a Council of State ruling, the leftist-led government has presented the bill as its own political initiative.

It passed into law with the support of all parties except Golden Dawn but was criticized. New Democracy’s shadow finance minister Christos Staikouras indicated that the measure was too little, too late.

In a related development, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras told Alpha TV that Greece will be announcing 10,000 new state sector jobs in 2019 in the wake of tentative deal with the Church to move as many priests off the state payroll.

Referring to SYRIZA’s proposed changes to the Greek electoral system, Tsipras said that a party would need at least 44-45 percent of the vote to form a single-party government.