Gov't rules out firing of public-sector staff

Government spokesman George Petalotis on Monday denied rumours that the government was discussing lay-offs in the public sector, due to demands made by the EU-IMF troika.
"We are not discussing the firing of public-sector staff, whose job tenure is in any case protected by the Constitution," Petalotis said.

The spokesman said the government would restrict itself to staff transfers, pointing out that their numbers were reduced by 52,000 the previous year and only 1,000 were hired in that time.

"There are other ways, apart from dismissals, for a more flexible, productive state," he said.

Asked to clarify whether this would also apply for staff working in public-sector services that are due to be abolished, Petalotis said that for these there would be transfers on the basis of merit, using criteria established by the Supreme Council for Staff Selection (ASEP).

"This is not dismissal and ASEP has specific criteria that are logical and just," he stressed, adding that the same would apply for staff with indefinite contracts.

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