Sunday, the lawmakers of Greece’s parliament voted to cut off its existing 700,000 public jobs in exchange for another 8.8 billion euros ($11.5 billion) in bailout funds.
After a vote of 168-123, the Greece’s government decided to slash 15,000 civil jobs by the end of 2014 when employment will skyrocket to more than 27 %. This move, the first in Greece’s political history, is a sign of an ending of the country’s welfare state, and is considered a difficult feat for its citizens.
This is also a drastic change to the country’s right to permanent position once hired by the public sector, which had been protected by the Greek constitution.
Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras said that Greece maybe going through a difficult path but it is going to be a success story.
The decision is part of a loan agreement between the country’s government and its creditors, the European Union (EU) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Previously, the government also released austerity measures like cutting pay for public workers as much as 30% and reducing pension benefits.
EU and IMF officials said earlier this month that Greece is on track to reach its bailout targets. However, each round of austerity measures has resulted to sometimes-violent demonstrations, and critics argue the tax increases and spending cuts imposed by struggling eurozone economies have driven up unemployment without spurring growth.
Source: cnn.com, bbc.co.uk, theglobeandmail.com