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Greece's Troika Deal: Fire Crossing Guards, Janitors

Mitsotakis_TroikaGreece and its international lenders have reportedly struck a last-minute deal to keep loans coming in return for the firing of public workers, mostly those in lower pay grades, such as school crossing guards, janitors, teachers, and municipal police officers, while Parliament workers and managers were exempted for now.
The compromise on July 6 came a day after a deadline set by the Troika of the European Union-International Monetary Fund-European Central Bank (EU-IMF-ECB) which could pave the way for Eurozone finance ministers on July 8 to approve release of a delayed 8.1 billion euro ($10.6 billion) loan installment.
The semiofficial Athens News Agency said that 5,000 teachers, 3,500 municipal police officers, 2,500 education ministry employees and 1,500 civil servants from other departments in the transfer programme will be included in the so-called mobility program.  This amounts to 12,500 of the 15,000 public sector workers who must be dismissed by the end of 2014 under an agreement with the troika.
Under the original mobility scheme, workers selected the transfer would earn reduced pay for a period and face being laid off if vacant spots are not found in the broader public sector.The deal was struck after the Troika reportedly accepted new Administrative Reform Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’s plans for completing a labor mobility scheme involving 12,500 civil servants, which gives him until September to decide who will be transferred to other positions or fired.
“It is sealed, there will not be any more meetings regarding the public sector,” Mitsotakis said. “All that is left is for the Eurogroup to give its approval.”
Kathimerini reported that 5,000 of those who will be included in the program will be local authority employees, including school crossing guards and cleaners. Some 3,500 municipal police officers will also be added. They will undergo an evaluation and for every one that is transferred to the main police force, another three will be dismissed.
Another 2,000 employees are to come from the education sector, while ministry personnel will also be added once the restructuring of government departments is completed. Parliament workers who’ve been exempted from austerity measures because they threatened to go on strike were not included in the scheme and will be protected.
The two sides also appear to have reached an agreement over a supposed funding gap of about 2 billion euros ($2.6 billion) for this year and next. The Greek government said that it would “claw back” much of the overspending at healthcare provider EOPYY by forcing private clinics that worked with the public organization to accept reduced payments and not be paid fully for the services they provided, in line with goverment practices of trying to force creditors to take less then they are owed.
There were also reports that the Troika agreed to the seasonal reduction of the Valued Added Tax (VAT) in the food service sector from 23 to 13 percent in return for a rise in tax on luxury goods. The government is expected to table in Parliament a multi-bill containing a number of prior actions agreed with the Troika, which will help secure further bailout funding.

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