At LAT, "Greece handing pink slips to more than 25,000 public employees":
ATHENS – Bowing to pressure from international lenders, Greece on Wednesday moved to put more than 25,000 state workers on notice for dismissal by the end of the year in the first official winnowing of its costly civil sector.Continue reading.
The legislation, backed by 153 lawmakers in the 300-member Parliament, was needed to unlock rescue funds and ease fresh fears of fiscal derailment in the bailed-out country.
The workers will be given an opportunity to find other public employment, so the plan does not necessarily mean that all those who receive notice will lose their jobs.
Seven parliamentarians were absent and 140 voted against the bill, which broke a century-old taboo of public sector layoffs in a country where 1 in 5 salaries is paid by the government.
Though about 128,000 civil servants have sought retirement since the start of the crisis here, Wednesday’s late-night vote authorizes the first direct dismissal plan to hit the 700,000-strong public sector – a stark contrast to the 1,000 jobs lost daily in the private sector, according to state statistics.