ENGLISH

Cabinet discusses reforms to state-sector services, organisations

Δημοσίευση 26 Νοεμβρίου 2010, 10:58 / Ανανεώθηκε 27 Ιουνίου 2013, 14:55
Cabinet discusses reforms to state-sector services, organisations
Facebook Twitter Whatsapp

Reforms to broader state-sector services and organisations, including the debt and deficit-ridden Greek Railways Organisation (OSE) and loss-making Athens public transport companies, were the main issues discussed on Thursday during a meeting of the cabinet chaired by Prime Minister George Papandreou.

Reforms to broader state-sector services and organisations, including the debt and deficit-ridden Greek Railways Organisation (OSE) and loss-making Athens public transport companies, were the main issues discussed on Thursday during a meeting of the cabinet chaired by Prime Minister George Papandreou.

Addressing the meeting, Papandreou said that 2011 would be the year for major reforms and expressed confidence that the government would succeed in achieving its targets, as it had in 2010.

The premier asked the ministers to submit their proposals for their specific area of responsibility by Friday, ranking them in order of priority so that they might be included in an implementation schedule.

Referring to the economic crisis, Papandreou stressed that Europe had nothing to fear if it moved forcefully and without fatalism with respect to markets. Concerning the current debate on setting up a permanent crisis resolution mechanism that is to be discussed at the December EU summit, the Greek premier stressed that this needed to be a "smart mechanism" able to respond to the psychology of markets.

Papandreou did not spare his predecessor Costas Karamanlis, comparing his own handling of the crisis and that of the Irish prime minister who "even though conservative, did not follow the example of Karamanlis, who abandoned ship and passed a bomb onto the next government"

"He took all the responsibility on himself, so that the next government would not be 'saddled' with the mistakes of the past".

Among the issues considered was the abolition of a rural police force and the transfer of all officers to forestry services, setting up a board to examine the staffing needs of the civil aviation service and the use of any surplus staff to cover the needs of other ministries, as well as the transfer of 5,416 seasonal fire fighters to a new status of five-year terms as 'Assistant Fire Fighters' instead of the current eight-month contracts.

The cabinet also discussed a plan for grouping regional airports in the country, after the completion of which the government may consider leasing some of these to the private sector.

During the meeting, Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou also carried out a complete briefing on the course of the economy and announced each ministry's targets in the next three months.

The government meeting also examined a draft bill presented by Environment, Energy and Climate Change Minister Tina Birbili on marine strategy for maintaining and restoring the marine environment until the year 2020.

A ministry announcement said that the draft bill will harmonise legislation in Greece with the EU framework directive on marine strategy, which calls for a range specific actions that must be completed by binding deadlines.

This includes an initial assessment of the environmental state of the seas and a definition of what constitutes a good environmental state for sea water, as well as the setting of environmental targets and indices by the year 2012.

By the end of 2013, member-states must have delineated protected regions for every region or sub-region of the sea in order to create a coherent and representative network of protected marine regions and by 2014 established programmes for monitoring the state of the marine water environment.

By the end of 2015, member-states must have set up programmes of measures for ensuring the good state of the marine water environment until the end of 2020 and have set these in motion by the end of 2016 at the latest.