Wednesday 18 October 2017

Greeks to strike after extra holiday for civil servants is scrapped

A woman walks past a display by protestors of municipal police T-shirts with written signs, one reading 'We want jobs, not joblessness' in the city of Thessaloniki (AP)
A woman walks past a display by protestors of municipal police T-shirts with written signs, one reading 'We want jobs, not joblessness' in the city of Thessaloniki (AP)

Greece's austerity drive has cost public sector workers a privilege they have enjoyed for more than two decades - six extra days of paid holiday every year if they use a computer.

The country’s public servants are expected to take to the streets this week as well as strike  following the decision to scrap the bonus.

It was described as a "small, yet symbolic" step in modernizing an outdated civil service, said Kyriakos Mitsotakis, the administrative reform minister who has taken on the challenge of overhauling public institutions.

Bailed out twice by the euro zone and the IMF, Greece has started cancelling arcane benefits to cut state spending and reform a public sector widely seen as profligate and inefficient with a 600,000-strong workforce.

Allowances that have already gone include a bonus for showing up to work and one regulation letting unmarried daughters receive their dead father's pension.

The ministerial decision giving a day off every two months to those who sat in front of a computer for more than five hours a day was taken on 12 June 1989, a week before Mitsotakis's father Constantine won a general election.

"It belongs to another era. Today, in times of crisis, we cannot hold on to anachronistic privileges," Mitsotakis said, according to a statement from his ministry on Friday.

Greece's European Union and International Monetary Fund lenders have given Greece by the end of the year to place 25,000 public sector workers into a so-called "mobility pool", meaning they will either be transferred to another department or fired. Half of those must be placed into the pool by end-September.

 

Reuters

Independent.ie Comments Facility

INM has taken the decision to remove the commenting facility on its online platform Independent.ie to minimise the legal risk to our business that arises from Ireland's draconian libel awards system.

We continue to look forward to receiving comments through direct email contact or via social media, some of which may still be featured on the website Independent.ie


Editors Choice

Also in World News