Administrative Development Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who hasn’t been able to meet a timetable to suspend, transfer or fire 25,000 workers this year, is reportedly going to ask international lenders for more time, and to include workers being fired at state enterprises to be included in a second goal of 4,000 reductions.
He was to meet on Nov. 8 with envoys from the Troika of the European Union-International Monetary Fund-European Central Bank (EU-IMF-ECB) to make his case and explain why he hasn’t been able to do as they have insisted, amid complaints the government continues to drag its feet on many reforms.
Greece was supposed to have completed two sequences of transferring, suspending or firing 12,500 workers each to reduce a workforce bloated by generations of the country’s two ruling parties, the New Democracy Conservatives and PASOK Socialists, packing the payrolls in return for votes.
Mitsotakis wants to include workers to be fired at two state defense contractors, EAS and ELVO, in a target of 4,000 additional workers to be let go but the Troika has been reluctant because the government is far behind schedule in completing reforms.
Mitsotakis was also expected to ask Troika envoys to give the government an extension for the second phase of the mobility scheme which foresees an additional 12,500 civil servants being transferred to other posts within the public sector or dismissed, primarily from cities and towns, health care and social security offices. The government so far has exempted higher-paid managers and workers protected by political interests.
Mitsotakis will try to explain why the government has failed to complete a first wave of 12,500 suspensions on time yet will still ask for more time to complete a second, which was supposed to have been done by the end of next month.
The Troika will also reportedly demand explanations for big delays in dismissals, with the government having to dismiss a total of 4,000 by Christmas. The Troika representatives have recognized only 2,000 of the 2,600 dismissals the Minister claims, rejecting the inclusion of former national ERT employees and those dismissed on misconduct charges.