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Greece to fire 4,000 civil servants for bailout cash

Greece will fire 4,000 civil servants this year as part of a programme of austerity measures agreed with the EU-IMF troika as the condition for the next €8.8bn of payments in its €270bn bailout.

The redundancies will begin a savage round of job cuts in the Greek public sector, with another 11,000 officials due to be sacked by the end of next year.

Greece is in deep recession, GDP has contracted by 22pc since 2008 and unemployment has spiralled to 27pc as the Greek government has implemented deeply unpopular EU-IMF austerity measures.

"Our society has reached its limits. But finally we are meeting our targets and the programme is being improved," Prime Minister Antonis Samaras said.

"Soon, Greece will not depend on the memorandums. Greece will have growth, it will be competitive and outward-looking. In other words, we will have a strong Greece," he added.

The EU and IMF have predicted that Greece can meet budget targets without further austerity and that the Mediterranean country will shrug a GDP contraction of 4.4pc this year to return to growth in 2014.

All previous EU-IMF growth forecasts for Greece since 2009 have been wrong.

The civil service redundancies, with a target of 15,000 by the end of next year, will target "disciplinary cases and cases of demonstrated incapacity, absenteeism, and poor performance, or that result from closure or mergers of government entities".

Irish Independent