No room for political favors

Hospitals and museums are just two state sectors which urgently need extra staff. Transferring Hellenic Railways Organization (OSE) workers and other public sector employees to different departments in the civil service, as George Papandreou’s Socialist government announced recently, must be carried out in a way that will fulfill these pressing needs. It would be a disaster if deputies and ministers saw here a renewed chance to do political favors for their allies and voters. The time when politicians used to pull political strings for their political cronies or grant them favorable appointments has past. And now we are all paying the price. Public enterprises (also known as DEKOs) are draining the public coffers – OSE, to name just one, is almost 11 billion euros in debt. Transfers of civil servants must take place in accordance with meritocratic criteria and any staff must move to departments where they are really needed.