Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

4/29/2013 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (

Civil servants haven't faced layoffs in nearly 150 years.

The Greek government has started doing what was unthinkable, at least until recently, which is to fire public sector workers. The layoffs come as part of a wider austerity plan and are naturally very unpopular in the financially troubled state.

Greek civil servants, dressed in traditional garb, protest pending cuts to their jobs.

Greek civil servants, dressed in traditional garb, protest pending cuts to their jobs.


By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (

4/29/2013 (2 years ago)

Published in Europe

Keywords: Greece, debt, civil servants, layoffs, protests

ATHENS, GREECE (Catholic Online) - The first of some 180,000 layoffs have started for the public sector workforce, sparking protests and challenges. The layoffs are part of a broader austerity plan for the Greek state and a condition to receive more bailout money for the troubled economy.

Public sector jobs have employed almost a third of all Greeks. According to national statistics, about 29 percent of Greeks found employment in the lucrative sector. Until now, it has been an easy job.

Greek law has specifically protected public sector workers since the 1880s, when a law was passed that provided permanent protection for civil servants. The law was necessary then, as each new government would come into power and immediately fire the previous set of servants and hire an all-new batch. This created major problems with each transition.

However, once the law protected civil service jobs, the political hires did not end. New governments simply kept the previous civil servants as they were required, and hired their own people to work alongside them. This lead to an ever-expanding bureaucracy and a growing burden on the state. All the while, it made the government less efficient.

Now, the civil sector in Greece is massive and self-entitled. That makes the latest plans which involve 180,000 permanent layoffs, extremely unpopular.

Many civil servants have been protesting the pending layoffs for some time, sometimes demonstrating in traditional garb and carrying flags.

For now, the initial layoffs will come from people with disciplinary issues. The first two layoffs are almost symbolic, with the government laying off one person for stealing and another for taking 110 days of unexcused absence.

The law also speeds up the appeals process and allows for employees to be suspended if they are accused of a serious offense.

Prime Minister Anotnis Samaras is referring to the law as an "upgrade."

In essence, the law truly is an upgrade. It is an opportunity for the government to cut some of the waste out of the system and to reorganize at least a part of the bureaucracy. Meanwhile, as layoffs and natural attrition eliminate some jobs,  old positions will be phased out and new ones created as needed. There will still be plenty of jobs for hire in the future.

However, nations cannot fire their way to prosperity any more than they can tax their way there. Dismissing people in times of high unemployment means fewer taxpayers and more people on public assistance programs than before. There is a cost to layoffs for the government.

However, bailout money comes with strings attached, and this is one of those strings. Hopefully the Greek government will take advantage of the opportunity to make badly needed reforms which will help much more than hinder.


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'

Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2015
That human trafficking, the modern form of slavery, may be eradicated.
Evangelization: That with a missionary spirit the Christian communities of Asia may announce the Gospel to those who are still awaiting it.


More Europe

Is ancient Greek tomb for Alexander the Great's friend Hephaestion? Debate continues Watch

Image of After his death in 325 B.C., Alexander the Great reportedly ordered that shrines be constructed throughout the empire. Hephaestion died less than a year before the Macedonian leader.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Archaeologist Katerina Peristeri declared that the mysterious Amphipolis monument is a tomb to Hephaestion, Alexander the Great's best friend who died less than a year before Alexander did.Fragmentary inscriptions link the monument to Hephaestion. Other archaeologists ... continue reading

10,000 copies of Germany's constitution was printed in Arabic to help nearly 800,000 migrants integrate Watch

Image of


Germany translated the first 20 articles of its constitution, which concerns basic rights such as freedom of speech, into Arabic for refugees to learn in an attempt to help immigrants integrate. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - At the moment, Germany struggles to ... continue reading

Segregation of Jewish and Muslim pupils in a French school echoes chilling Nazi segregation Watch

Image of


Jewish and Muslim students at the Piedallous primary school in Auxere, Burgundy were ordered to wear disks around their necks. The incident brought with it memories of Nazi segregation and caused an uproar. LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA (Catholic Online) - Daily Mail ... continue reading

German refugee camps plagued with rape and child abuse Watch

Image of The European migrant crisis continues to grow. Rape and sexual abuse are already being reported inside German refugee camps.


Rape and sexual abuse is now becoming a major problem in several German refugee asylums as the country tries to cope with their migrant crisis. HOLLYWOOD, CA (Catholic Online) - Refugees are facing several problems inside overcrowded refugee centers across the country ... continue reading

OVERRUN AND OUT OF PATIENCE: Immigrants quickly wear out welcome in Germany Watch

Image of In Germany, there are a few terrorist agents mixed in with those who say they are fleeing the brutal persecution of Islamic State, when in fact they themselves are ISIS.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Germany was lauded by the international community for taking in the large influx of immigrants feeling violence in Syria and Iraq. However . this generosity has a heavy price. Many of these so-called immigrants have left their native lands to make their ... continue reading

Expert confident forensic remains of fabled 'Mona Lisa' found Watch

Image of Most everyone is familiar with the image of a young woman with an enigmatic smile, her hands folded on her lap.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Leonardo Da Vinci's "Mona Lisa," perhaps the world's most famous painting, has cast a spell across the imagination. Lisa Gherardini, the wife of Florentine silk merchant Francesco del Giocondo, is thought to have been the portrait's model. Bone fragments have ... continue reading

British mother of six brutally assaulted in acid attack Watch

Image of Thirty-seven-year-old Carla Whitlock says that she is still trying to come to terms with how her life has been changed.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In what is common in India - but most unusual in the United Kingdom, a 37-year-old mother of six is struggling to come to terms after suffering a vicious acid attack. Witnesses saw her face visibly melt, and doctors say she will probably lose the sight in one ... continue reading

EU holds summit to discuss migrant crisis Watch

Image of The migrant crisis has resulted in over 160,000 eligible refugees with no country to settle in.

By Kenya Sinclair (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

European Union leaders met in a summit Wednesday evening in Brussels to talk about reinforcing surveillance of the frontiers, particularly sea routes into Greece where hundreds of refugees die in the midst of attempts to reach Greek islands. LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA ... continue reading

Majority of migrants entering Europe NOT Syrian refugees Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The migrant crisis hitting Europe has driven headlines over the past month, tugging at the heartstrings of people wanting to help desperate refugees running from a war-torn country. However, new reports from Europe show that "only one in five migrants claiming asylum" ... continue reading

Hungarian officials approved for weapon use against migrants Watch

Image of Hungarian officials can now use non-lethal weapons against migrants trying to illegally cross borders.


Hungarian parliament have granted police and the Hungarian army the power to keep migrants out of their country. Fears of Europe being overran by migrants continue to increase. MUNTINLUPA CITY, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban ... continue reading

All Europe News


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 4th, 2015 Image

St. Francis of Assisi
October 4: Founder of the Franciscan Order, born at Assisi in Umbria, in ... Read More