OPINION

Outdated privileges?

Citizens polled by VPRC on behalf of Skai radio delivered a resounding «no» when asked if public sector employees should continue to be tenured. This subject has provoked a major uproar at least twice in the past decade. But the debates never went anywhere because politicians feared the political costs of the change. They thought citizens would suspect that a «mild adjustment» to the system would eventually mean the dismantling of a longstanding perk of the public sector. «It might not pay well, but at least it’s safe,» people used to say about the public sector. But things have changed. Most employees in the public sector are paid about the same, sometimes more, than their counterparts in the private sector and certainly get better benefits. But another development is more significant. Once, families used to keep one foot in the public sector and another in the private in order to combine security with a better wage. Now that the public sector is saturated, a flourishing private sector is more important than ever. Abolishing the privileges of the public sector and defending hard workers in the private sector is likely to be a reform that Karamanlis will be remembered for…