Mergers, abolition of state bodies to begin soon

The first phase of abolitions and mergers of state bodies will be ready within the next few days, Administrative Reform Minister Antonis Manitakis said on Thursday, adding that a list of organizations to come under the knife had been given to Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and to all the other ministries.

According to state television channel Net, the first phase foresees the merging of several organizations handling exports into one body that would be based in the northern port of Thessaloniki.

A second wave of bodies to be merged and abolished is to be prepared by the end of August, Manitakis added, noting that an assessment of his ministry and of the Environment Ministry had been completed and that the results would be made public by the end of this month.

He added that a central coordinating committee for assessment of ministries' operations would be based at the Finance Ministry and that separate sub-committees would be established at each individual ministry.

Questioned about the government's proposal to transfer employees of state bodies that are merged or abolished to other parts of the civil service, Manitakis said that these transfers should not be regarded as new recruitments.

Greece international creditors have called for layoffs in the country's bloated civil service but the government has instead proposed transfers to other parts of the public sector, the operation of a labor reserve scheme where employees would receive a heavily-docked salary before their status is reviewed and early retirements. 

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