As part of a dual bid to trim unnecessary spending in the public sector and to curb unchecked hirings at ministries, the government is planning to reduce ministry staff.
The aim of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis is not just to minimize waste in the state administration, which has been a perennial problem, but also to convey the message that appointments in the public sector are to be based on meritocratic criteria and not on the traditional bad habit of granting jobs to relatives and friends.
The government’s first bill, which aims to overhaul state governance and administrative efficiency and is being overseen by State Minister Giorgos Gerapetritis, foresees a maximum of nine administrative staff, and two journalists, being appointed to the office of each minister, Kathimerini understands.
In addition, each deputy minister will have the right to employ up to six administrative staff while general secretaries will be able to hire up to five clerks each.
The center-right government has radically reduced the number of general secretaries – scaling it down to 56 from 93 in the previous leftist administration.
The total number of administrative staff under the previous government was 2,700 on March 31.
That number was boosted over the European Parliament elections in May and the snap general elections earlier this month though it remains unclear by how much.
It also remains unclear what the total number of ministry clerks will be under the current administration.
Although the government’s aim is to curb the fiscal burden of unnecessary appointments, it also wants to increase the ratio of hirings to departures in the public sector, which currently stands at one hiring for every departure.
The bill on state administration is to go to a House committee on Wednesday with a series of other pieces of legislation, outlining the government’s promised tax cuts as well as reforms to the penal code and the abolition of the university asylum law, to follow in the coming days. The plan is for all the legislation to be voted on by August 8.