Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

IN THE PAPERS

Is Boris Johnson Britain's most undiplomatic chief diplomat?

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Paris pollution: 'Tomorrow we stop breathing'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Greece hands out Christmas bonuses

Read more

ACROSS AFRICA

New HIV vaccine under trial in South Africa

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Vote count under way in Ghana after tight presidential poll

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Cameroon: Several killed in clashes with police in Anglophone region

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Polish Christmas video goes viral

Read more

THE DEBATE

Power to the People? Battle over Brexit and Parliamentary Democracy (part 1)

Read more

THE DEBATE

Power to the People? Battle over Brexit and Parliamentary Democracy (part 2)

Read more

Europe

Greek parliament approves 15,000 civil service job cuts

© AFP

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2013-04-29

The Greek parliament passed a bill on Sunday which will see up to 15,500 public-sector workers laid off by 2015. The job cuts are among conditions set by the EU and IMF in return for €8.8 billion in emergency loans.

Greece’s Parliament approved an emergency bill Sunday to pave the way for thousands of public sector layoffs and free up 8.8 billion euros ($11.5 billion) in international rescue loans.

The bill, which passed in a 168-123 vote, will allow for the first civil service layoffs in more than a century. About 2,000 civil servants will be laid off by the end of May, with another 2,000 following by the end of the year and a further 11,500 by end-2014, for a total of 15,500.

The legislation is the latest wave of Greece’s draconian austerity program. It agreed this month with its bailout rescue lenders -  the European Union and International Monetary Fund -  to implement the measures as a condition to receive new emergency loans worth 8.8 billion euros ($11.5 billion).

The permanence of civil servant jobs has been enshrined in all constitutions since 1911, a form of protection from wholesale sacking when the government changes hands.

To get around the constitutional protection, the bill stipulates the first layoffs will take place in state agencies that will be disbanded or merged. A provision also aims to bypass, if needed, the notoriously slow and lenient disciplinary councils, which have refused to lay off even people convicted of felonies. More than 2,000 such cases are pending, nearly 600 on appeal.

The civil servants’ union, ADEDY, bitterly opposed the bill’s provisions and called for a protest outside Parliament. Authorities took strict security measures, such as barricading a Parliament entrance since Sunday morning and diverting traffic and shutting down a subway station two hours before the announced start of the protest. In the end, fewer than 300 people showed up.

The bill contained many unrelated provisions, from the payment of back taxes and social security contributions to the end of bakeries’ monopoly in baking bread.

To shorten debate and to present the bill as a sort of confidence vote, the government bundled 110 pages of legislation into a single article. Debate in committee lasted a single day and so did debate in the full Parliament, despite opposition protests and claims of a “parliamentary coup.”

(AP)

Date created : 2013-04-29

  • GREECE

    Greece hit by fresh anti-austerity strike

    Read more

  • GREECE

    Greek lenders agree to unlock EU-IMF funds

    Read more

  • GREECE

    Greece angry after EU ministers fail to reach rescue deal

    Read more

COMMENT(S)