OPINION

Seeking permanency

Internally disorganized following the shock of its electoral defeat, PASOK is trying to adapt to its new role as the official opposition party and to find fresh issues on which to challenge the government. One of these is the sensitive issue of contract workers in the public sector. The problem is of concern to tens of thousands of workers and their families – and PASOK is exclusively to blame for it. Its successive governments systematically used these people to cover the crucial needs of state bodies and local authority offices without offering them permanency, essentially creating an army of state «slaves.» And now that the new government has committed itself to solving this problem, PASOK has suddenly remembered these neglected workers and is trying to create a climate of opposition. But its efforts are likely in vain. The prime minister and his labor minister have been very clear on the subject. They plan to ensure permanency for the majority of contract workers and they aim to achieve this goal in three stages: First, by publishing a presidential decree in May that will provide a legal framework for the procedure. Second, by registering all contract workers with official organizations so that the number of workers entitled to permanency is clear. And third, by granting permanency to workers with the use of a point-awarding system enshrined in the decree…