3 Oct 2011

Public sector layoffs approved in Greece

9:27 pm on 3 October 2011

The Greek cabinet has approved a reduction in the number of state workers there, a contentious part of an austerity plan aimed at meeting stringent conditions to borrow more money from the European Union and International Monetary Fund.

The plan creates a labour reserve allowing state workers to be placed on partial pay of 60% of their current wages and be dismissed after a year.

The government says it will put 30,000 workers in the reserve by the end of this year.

The public sector accounts for a fifth of the labor force in Greece.

Greece needs the next tranche of a EU bailout of €8 billion or it could run out of money soon.

A draft budget for 2012 will be submitted to parliament on Monday.

Meanwhile, budget deficit targets set by the EU and the IMF for 2011 and 2012 will be missed, according to figures published by the finance ministry on Sunday.

The budget deficit will reach 8.5% of gross domestic product this year. The target is 7.6%.

It will be brought down to 6.8% of GDP next year. The bailout target is 6.5% of GDP.