OPINION

Help where it is really needed

Christmas holidays tend to generate thoughts and compassion about our society’s weaker and helpless members. However, we need to clarify who really needs our help most. Prime Minister George Papandreou wants to include all public servants and the broader state sector in the above category. Undoubtedly, no one can dispute that there is a certain number of state workers who work hard without earning a decent salary. However, the inefficient and excessively centralized state sector also employs thousands of staff who do very little work as well as people who get paid for bogus overtime. Some employees even perform duties other than those they were hired for. These individuals enjoy a privileged position compared to the thousands employed in the private sector. If the government trimmed the special benefits and overtime work for state sector employees, and appointed nurses, teachers, sanitary workers and other staff back to their original posts so as to clean up the mess in the state sector, it would certainly find support among voters, in spite of any resistance from the unions and PASOK’s old guard.