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Stournaras Says "Compulsory Exits" Aren't Firings

Greek Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras
Greek Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras

Taking political spin to new heights, Greek Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras said public workers who will be dismissed from their jobs aren’t being fired, merely being given “compulsory exits,” although the end result means they will be without a job either way.
He denied the government, as directed by international lenders, is going to lay off, fire or dismiss 15,000 civil servants by the end of 2014.
“Firings are not provided for. For the public sector, we have to make 15,000 compulsory exits by the end of 2014,” Yannis Stournaras told Vima FM although he didn’t explain the bewildering answer or what the difference was.
He also said that for each “compulsory exit”, there would be a new hiring, adding that the procedure was necessary to remove people who joined the civil service under false pretenses although he didn’t explain how that would reduce government spending as the Troika of the European Union-International Monetary Fund-European Central Bank (EU-IMF-ECB)
“The will be 15,000 compulsory exits, for which we will make new hires. This is to improve the public sector. Among these 15,000, there are perjurers who forged documents and were not hired via ASEP (the state board for civil service hiring,) ” he said.
And while the IMF has said that Greece faces an $11-$14 million black hole in its budget and could need another bailout or impose more austerity measures – which Prime Minister Antonis Samaras vowed he would never do again – Stournaras said there will not be any more pay cuts, tax hikes or slashed pensions.
He said even if Greece needs a third bailout that the government would keep implementing existing reforms, although many are far behind schedule.  Stournaras said a record-busting tourist season is helping balance Greece’s books. He said he supports the Troika’ insistence on shutting down the Greek defense industry because the subsidies for the agencies, which the EU deemed unlawful, could be used to help pensioners whose benefits the government keeps cutting.

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