Most Greeks Favour Civil Service Job Cuts: Survey

Most Greeks Favour Civil Service Job Cuts: Survey

Most Greeks agree that it is necessary to slash jobs in the civil service, a survey published on Sunday showed, just days after parliament approved a bitterly contested bill to radically reform the administration.

Some 60.6 percent of 1,002 Greeks surveyed on Tuesday and Wednesday — the peak of protests against the reforms — were in favour of job cuts in the civil service, while 36 percent were against, according to Kapa institute, which carried out the poll.

At 70 percent, the proportion of those in favour was higher among supporters of the two parties making up the ruling coalition. Among backers of the anti-austerity Syriza opposition party, support for job cuts was at 47.4 percent.

Under the bill, 25,000 civil servants — including teachers and municipal police — were to be redeployed by the end of the year.

Those affected have eight months on reduced salaries to find new posts elsewhere, or accept those offered to them. Otherwise, they will lose their jobs.

Greece had agreed to the reforms with its international creditors, the European Union and the International Monetary Fund, in exchange for its next instalment of 6.8 billion euros ($8.9 billion) in rescue funds.

But the sweeping bill sparked a new wave of protests, with thousands descending into the streets.

Nevertheless, in the poll published by news weekly To Vima, 64.5 percent of people surveyed said they were favourable to ending civil servant’s almost guaranteed lifetime employment.