OPINION

Shifting the problem is no solution

The decision to transfer public sector employees from the civil service section where they work to another – a procedure known in Greece as «metataxi» – may help the Socialist government keep its promise not to make any layoffs, but it still fails to deal with the problem of a costly and underperforming organization. The transfer procedure does not solve the problem; it merely shifts it elsewhere. It should be clear to everyone by now that Greece will not succeed in tackling its fiscal woes until it finds a way of reducing the size of the state and staffing its counterproductive public sector with the right people. People who have built a career in a certain department will not be able to perform in a different one, which is not of their choice, and under different labor conditions. It would be more efficient if the government were to give redundant employees a generous severance package that will enable them to retrain and return to the labor market with stronger qualifications and improved job prospects.