OPINION

System ‘shake-up’

PASOK’s immediate and outraged reaction to new legislation aimed at reforming the civil service was hardly a surprise. The basic target of the opposition party’s criticism are the sweeping changes to the structure of all public administration bodies and the three-year «ceiling» which is to be imposed on posts held by general directors and managers (after which they will be re-evaluated before being reappointed or replaced). There is no doubt that there should be some kind of continuity in public administration (which means that there cannot be a staff overhaul every time there is a change in government). Indeed, the insight and experience gained by officials who have climbed the hierarchy is an invaluable asset. However, it cannot be denied that an excessively long term in power for any government only serves to encourage degenerative phenomena, entangled interests and corruption, as well as a tendency toward a party-monitored state system… Overall, the new bill appears to be fair in principle. Of course, whether it is actually so will depend upon how it is implemented and whether the state authorities will put public interest first rather than allowing the new bill to become a linchpin for petty politicking. In any case, it is unfair for the opposition to reject it out of hand on grounds of expediency…