About 25,000 Greek civil servants are to have their pay cut before being sacked or moved to other jobs, including 2,000 teachers and 3,500 local police, who are to become part of the national force.
About 4,000 state workers, including teachers and local government workers, are due to be cut by the end of the year. Greece’s unemployment rate is already at 27.6 per cent, up from 23 per cent last year and including 65 per cent of 15-24s. A further 11,000 civil servants will have their pay cut next year pending redeployment – if jobs are available – or dismissal.
These new cuts are a condition of receiving a further bailout loan of 6.8 billion euros. International creditors say the reform programme is too slow. Previous measures have already resulted in salaries and pensions being slashed.
Public sector union ADEDY has called a new strike for 28 August. This follows an earlier half-day strike in August when thousands of civil servants, municipal workers and teachers demonstrated in Athens, with even police members taking part, and a 24-hour strike, the fourth this year, which brought many hospitals, flights and trains to a standstill. Protests also took place in Thessaloniki.
Unions accuse the government of abolishing whole organisations such as the municipal police and the bodies which guard state schools. The Greek economy has dropped 25 per cent since 2007. ■