The government is planning to soon abolish of thousands of organisational positions in the public sector, Administrative Reform and e-Governance minister Dimitrs Reppas said in an interview published on Monday. The minister said that the scrapping of permanent public-sector positions was "in the wings" while 30,000 employees from the boarder public sector will immediately go to labour reserve status, staying home and receiving only 60 percent of their normal pay.
In the interview published by the newspaper 'Ta Nea', Reppas said that abolishing state-sector organisational positions would not require any change in the Constitution, only a restructuring of the organisational chart of the state organisations involved.
On the abolition of tenure for civil servants, Reppas said that this was also being raised as a possibility after 2013, when Parliament was able to revise the Constitution.
"Our final aim is for ministries to retain their executive duties, while implementation is gradually transferred to decentralised local government or the appropriate bodies in each place. All of this is included in the major reform for the state that we are promoting and for which we are now, based on a study by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, conducting the necessary preparation," he added.
At the same time, the minister said the government was seeking ways to set up social employment programmes using funds for the European Social Fund, in order to support those placed in the labour reserve programme during the transitional period.
In the interview, Reppas also indulged in criticism of his predecessor at the ministry Yiannis Ragoussis, accusing him of having failed to do any preparatory work to pave the way for the uniform public-sector pay scale, even though this had been included in the government's policy platform since 2009, so that the draft bill had to be prepared from scratch after July 2011.

ND points to 'renegotiation' of labour reserve measure; promises no layoffs

A renegotiation of the labour reserve measure will be an immediate priority to ensure that it will assume the form suggested by main opposition New Democracy (ND) party, ND labour sector head Nikos Nikolopoulos on Monday said.
Addressing employees of organizations where the labour reserve measure will be implemented, he underlined that the ND position is that those on labour reserve have an active labour relation and will not be fired, reminding that either way there will be no layoffs for a year based on the labour reserve measure’s present form.