I have written before on how Greece continues to do “austerity” in a bass-ackwards, counterproductive, and useless manner.
Sadly, they are still at it. Check out the latest attempt (New York Times):
Still, the plan to cut 30,000 jobs is modest by any measure. It amounts to about 4 percent of the public work force and would affect mostly people close to retirement. They would get a soft landing, too: 60 percent of their pay for a year while they remain in a “reserve” pool. After that, those who did not retire or find another job in the administration would be laid off.
In other words, for a full year, the would-be laid-off workers get 60% of their salaries; then they may be let go. Throughout this entire wrenching ordeal of tax hikes, salary cuts, and pension reductions, not a single government job has gone by the boards. As I mentioned earlier, the Greeks want to cut the cost of government without cutting the size or scope of government – and it just doesn’t work that way.
Not that the Times gets it either:
Greece’s Constitution grants its public servants lifetime tenure.
That is not correct. The actual Article (#103) states that “Civil servants holding posts provided by law shall be permanent so long as these posts exist.” They can’t be fired without an insane review process, but their positions can be eliminated.
Yet Greece’s left-wing government refuses to let any public sector worker go (in no small part because the public sector is its political base – and it should be noted that the center-right opposition didn’t exactly “mind the store” very well when it was in power before 2009). Instead, they are trying, literally, austerity on the cheap.
Good luck with that.
Cross-posted to Virginia Virtucon