A first round of mass lay-offs in the public sector leads to the redundancy of 30,000 Greek civil servants. According to a Greek cabinet decision in mid-October a round of mass layoff in the public sector will take place in the context of efforts to address the acute debt crisis of the debt-ridden country. Civil servants from all areas will be affected - ministries, local authorities and semi-state bodies.
It was decided that by the end of 2011 up to 30,000 Greek civil servants will be placed on partial pay of 60 percent of their current monthly wage for 12 months before becoming redundant in the framework of a labor reserve program.
The target is to gradually reduce the number of employees of the overburdened public sector and consequently cut state spending over the next two years in order to meet the fiscal and development goals agreed with EU/IMF lenders in 2010 under a three-year austerity and reform plan.
According to the plan, the 30,000 employees affected will be mostly over 60 years old and very close to retirement age, making the scheme effectively one very similar to early retirement for two thirds of the 30,000 redundant civil servants. 7,000 however will be officials being made redundant through abolition and mergers of 150 state agencies.
Protesters and labour unions, who have been demonstrating in front of the parliament building against austerity throughout the last months, argue that the plan opens the way to mass dismissals of civil servants who under the Greek Constitution had secured job positions for life.
UPDATE 02.09.12: According to recent data, the number of civil servants that left the public sector in 2011, after the plan was voted added up to 9,384 employees. 7,467 left voluntarily, 314 were forced to retire, 816 were dismissed because they had completed 35 years of service and 767 left under the provisions of 'pre-retirement redundancy' (often referred to as labour reserve) outlined in the plan voted on 27 October 2011.