Greece’s prime minister Monday said the government would begin an immediate review of the country’s bloated public sector with the goal of closing and merging state entities as part of its efforts to cut government spending and slash red tape.
In a letter addressed to Greece’s cabinet ministers, as well as alternate and deputy ministers, Antonis Samaras said the review would begin “in the next days’ and would encompass both central goverment entities and other state-linked organizations overseen by the ministries.
“The result of the assessment will be the reorganization of the services through mergers, or the elimination of inactive units and services, with the goal of rationalizing the functions of the ministries and reducing unnecessary spending,” Mr. Samaras said in a letter.
The move comes as Greece scrambles to come up with some 11.5 billion euros worth of spending cuts over the next two years–and implement some EUR3 billion worth of cutbacks promised for this year–as part of the newly elected government’s efforts to bring its reform program back on track.
Greece’s troika of international inspectors from the European Commission, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank–who were in Athens until early last week–have demanded that the government shut down state bodies as part of the reforms needed to secure further funding from a promised EUR173 billion bailout.
The government is expected to announce the closure of dozens of state entities–but without laying off any public sector workers–in the coming weeks.
(source: Dow Jones)