This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

Greek Bill Opens Way for Civil Service Layoffs (Update1)

Updated from 4:54 p.m. EDT with details on Greek bill.

By Demetris Nellas, Associated Press

ATHENS, Greece -- Greece's Parliament approved an emergency bill Sunday to pave the way for thousands of public sector layoffs and free up 8.8 billion euros ($11.5 billion) in international rescue loans.

The bill, which passed in a 168-123 vote, will allow for the first civil service layoffs in more than a century. About 2,000 civil servants will be laid off by the end of May, with another 2,000 following by the end of the year and a further 11,500 by end-2014, for a total of 15,500.

The legislation is the latest wave of Greece's draconian austerity program. It agreed this month with its bailout rescue lenders -- the European Union and International Monetary Fund -- to implement the measures as a condition to receive new emergency loans worth 8.8 billion euros ($11.5 billion).

The permanence of civil servant jobs has been enshrined in all constitutions since 1911, a form of protection from wholesale sacking when the government changes hands.

To get around the constitutional protection, the bill stipulates the first layoffs will take place in state agencies that will be disbanded or merged. A provision also aims to bypass, if needed, the notoriously slow and lenient disciplinary councils, which have refused to lay off even people convicted of felonies. More than 2,000 such cases are pending, nearly 600 on appeal.

The civil servants' union, ADEDY, bitterly opposed the bill's provisions and called for a protest outside Parliament. Authorities took strict security measures, such as barricading a Parliament entrance since Sunday morning and diverting traffic and shutting down a subway station two hours before the announced start of the protest. In the end, fewer than 300 people showed up.

The bill contained many unrelated provisions, from the payment of back taxes and social security contributions to the end of bakeries' monopoly in baking bread.

To shorten debate and to present the bill as a sort of confidence vote, the government bundled 110 pages of legislation into a single article. Debate in committee lasted a single day and so did debate in the full Parliament, despite opposition protests and claims of a "parliamentary coup."
Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
AAPL $111.54 -0.05%
FB $95.05 0.84%
GOOG $650.98 0.67%
TSLA $219.52 1.80%
YHOO $32.75 -0.33%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,105.77 -26.09 -0.15%
S&P 500 2,014.89 +15.91 0.80%
NASDAQ 4,825.8020 -12.8410 -0.27%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs