After the demand of Greece’s lenders for staff reduction in the public sector, it appears that the Greek government managed to decrease the number of civil servants.
Kyriakos Mitsotakis, the Minister of Administrative Reform, reported that Greece is likely to recover in the following year.
According to government sources, the number of employees in the public sector has been cut from 913,000 at the end of 2009 to 681,392 on November 30. Moreover, the annual expenditure on wage costs is reduced by over one-third.
Before the crisis, Greece had a massive public sector that was often considered as one of the main reasons of the country’s bailout. Foreign creditors agreed to provide 240 billion euros in the bailout packages, under the condition that Greece would reduce the number of civil servants by 150,000 by the end of 2015.
However, Mitsotakis, during a debate in the parliament about the 2014 budget, marked that “the problem with the public sector, now, isn’t that it’s too large, but that it’s ineffective.”
The government predicts that the country will return to growth in 2014. The recession that lasted six years, left the Greek debt at around 175% of the country’s GDP.
Panagiotis Lafazanis, a member of SYRIZA, stated that the budget is a crime against citizens as the government is only concerned with repaying the debt while it continually announces cuts on social service budgets.