Greek State Workers Plan Parliament Rally Against Job-Cut Law

Greece’s biggest union for state-employed workers will stage a rally outside Parliament on April 28 as lawmakers meet to approve plans to fire 15,000 workers.

The rally will be held at 6:30 p.m. as the bill is debated, according to a statement from Athens-based Adedy, which represents about half a million Greek civil servants. The union also plans to picket the Finance Ministry in Athens on April 26.

Greece’s government and international creditors reached an agreement on conditions to receive more aid, including firing state workers, on April 15, paving the way for the disbursement of the 2.8 billion euros ($3.7 billion) remaining from a previous review. It’s the first time the government has agreed to dismiss workers employed by the state.

Identifying redundant positions and adopting a system that will lead to mandatory exits for about 150,000 civil servants by 2015 is a requirement of international lenders to release further aid payments. Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras said April 16 the public sector workforce will decline by 160,000 people by 2015, meeting the minimum required.

Prime Minister Antonis Samaras said on April 15 that the decision reached with the so-called troika of creditors -- the European Union, International Monetary Fund and European Central bank -- will allow the country to replace the dismissed employees with younger, better-skilled staff.

More than three years after revealing that Greece had misled its euro partners on the state of its finances, the nation remains reliant on loans from the euro area and the IMF to pay pensions and wages. To qualify for payments from the total of 240 billion euros pledged to the country, it has to continue meeting economic targets.

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