UNISONActive is an unofficial blog produced by UNISON activists for UNISON activists. Bringing news, briefings and events from a progressive left perspective.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Greek Public Sector Workers Face Mass Sackings and Privatisation

With fury mounting from EU bankers over the lack of progress the recession-hit country has made in implementing reforms in return for loans, the government said on Tuesday that it would forge ahead with mass layoffs in the one million strong state-sector.

“If someone is not considered worthy of working in the public sector … then no one can say that he should automatically continue to burden the Greek taxpayer,” said Yiannis Ragousis, the interior minister. “The system of blind transferals [within the sector] has to stop. Civil servants will be evaluated and sacked,” he said, if they fail to make the grade: http://globaldailybusiness.com/business-news/4030-greek-civil-servants-face-the-sack/

The country has been told in no uncertain terms that it stands to lose the next loan instalment, €12bn (£10.5bn), vital for paying public sector wages and pensions – if it fails to action reforms aimed at opening up its state industries and services. Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the Eurogroup, said on Monday night as he emerged from the talks.

“Greece must still step up the implementation of its fiscal and structural reforms and start implementing the privatisation programme.”

With the Greek debt crisis the focus of further discussions on Tuesday, Juncker once again ruled out “a large restructuring”, but for the first time raised the prospect of a “kind of reprofiling” of the debt – possibly extending maturities and reducing interest rates on repayments.

Greek workers will get a taste of what is in store this week when George Papandreou, the prime minister, announces more spending cuts, the main thrust of which will be the sell-off of state assets.

Imerisia, a daily newspaper, reported that EU officials were insisting that a foreign agency oversee the privatisation process. Despite resistence from Greek workers and unions the bankers global plan for the destruction and privatisation of public services along with pensions and unions continues unrestrained.

The transformation of our money supply system from a debt based one to a positive state issued one is the key solution to the stupidity of austerity.