Παρασκευή, 5 Αυγούστου 2011

Greek Government, civil service Union at loggerheads

 Spokesman tells state workers to do their job; union leader says Constitution being undermined
The civil servants' union leader, Spyros Papaspyrou, has suggested that employees at tax offices might stop collecting taxes after a certain hour every day
A row between the government and the 
civil servants’ union (ADEDY) escalated 
on Friday after the union leader, Spyros 
Papaspyrou, slammed government 
spokesman Ilias Mosialos for suggesting 
that civil servants striking over pay cuts 
would face penalties.
Papaspyrou indicated that Mosialos had 
overstepped the mark by hinting at 
sackings of civil servants - whose jobs are 
protected by Greek law. “Has the 
government decided that it will abolish 
the Constitution before it has even reformed
it?” Papaspyrou told the Real FM radio 
station.
Mosialos reacted to the union leader’s 
comments by calling on civil servants to 
focus on their jobs. “The chief duty of 
every civil servant is to work for the common good,” Mosialos said, adding that “everyone has their 
responsibilities and they will be judged by the general public.”
Several other members of ruling PASOK, including Health Minister Andreas Loverdos, threw their support 
behind Mosialos, indicating that a work-to-rule protest by civil servants - in the middle of such a critical 
period for Greece - would be “unacceptable.”
The dispute began on Thursday when, in an apparent attempt to head off a confrontation with civil servants, 
Mosialos said that the government would take action if there is a go-slow protest.
His comments came after Papaspyrou said that members would react to continuing salary and benefit cuts, 
as well as the lengthening of their working week from 37.5 hours to 40.
The union leader had suggested that employees at tax offices might stop collecting taxes after a certain hour 
each day. Mosialos condemned this form of protest, saying it would be “to the detriment of the Greek people.”
In a related development, as the crisis gripping the eurozone deepened, Prime Minister George Papandreou 
called for European Union leaders to “immediately implement” their promises of support to Greece.
In a letter to European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, Papandreou also echoed the concerns 
of the EC official about widespread doubts in the markets. “Recent developments reflect a growing skepticism 
about the systemic capacity of the euro area to respond to the ongoing crisis,” Papandreou wrote, adding that 
“constant efforts and further institutional improvements are necessary if we are to remain ahead of 
developments and not trailing them.”
http://www.ekathimerini.com/4dcgi/_w_articles_wsite1_1_05/08/2011_401347

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