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Greece: 15,000 public sector jobs cut to secure bailout money

Greece: 15,000 public sector jobs cut to secure bailout money
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The dust is beginning to settle in Athens following the approval of mass layoffs of government workers by the parliament on Sunday.

Over 15,000 people face redundancy by the end of next year in a move which overturns the constitutional guarantee for civil servants to have a job for life.

The move was was necessary for Greece to receive 8.8 billion euros of bailout money from the European Union and International Monetary Fund, but opinion remains divided on the streets in Athens.

“Look, some people have to go if they got in based on fake qualifications and their connections to politicians. They’ll do well to go home. It’s about time this disgrace was put to an end,” said Christos Hatyziliades.

One man felt the layoffs were counterproductive: “When a person who does their job is fired, you can’t be happy about it. Because after that, what kind of growth can we talk about when you don’t have consumers?”

The legislation also makes it easier to fire government workers, extends an unpopular property tax and opens up professions such as accountants and bakers from legal restrictions.

As MPs were voting on the measures, several hundred protesters took to the streets to denounce the politicians they deemed to be destroying the welfare state.

Eurozone ministers were meeting on Monday to discuss the release of 2.8 billion euros. The remaining six billion euros is due to be released later in May.

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