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Officials are scrambling to avert a Greek debt defaultImage: picture-alliance/dpa/DW

Troika disappointed

October 1, 2011

Negotiations between international auditors and Greek officials have reportedly stalled over civil service job cuts. EU and IMF negotiators were in Athens to decide whether Greece should receive another bailout.


After a meeting with Greek officials on Saturday international auditors revealed that they were "disappointed" with talks over planned civil service job cuts. Media reports claim negotiators were at odds over the legal implications of mass redundancies.

Officials from the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund - known as the "troika" - are in Athens to decide on whether Greece should receive the next instalment of a multibillion euro bailout.

The troika must agree that the Greek government has fulfilled its promise to impose further austerity measures in order for it to receive the vital eight-billion-euro ($10.7-billion) bailout and avert a debt default.

Among a series of cut-backs, Greece has pledged to place 30,000 public sector employees on "reserve" by the end of this year. This effectively means that they would be suspended without pay.

But according to Greece's Ta Nea daily newspaper troika officials were concerned that the laid off workers could go to court and win their jobs back.

Jobs for life

The Greek constitution guarantees jobs for life to all state employees, making the promise to cut payroll numbers a legal and political minefield.

Ta Nae also reported that the troika was worried that only workers nearing their retirement age would go into reserve, turning the scheme into a retirement plan that would save little money.

Final proposals on the reserve plan are due to be discussed at a cabinet meeting on Sunday. The government will also discuss the draft 2012 budget, which will be submitted to parliament Monday.

Author: Charlotte Chelsom-Pill (AP, Reuters)
Editor: Ben Knight

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