The government is planning to reintroduce the measure of labour reserve for 40,000 civil servants in an effort to achieve cost reductions of EUR 11.5 billion for the period 2013-14, government officials told Reuters yesterday.
“The labour reserve plan will proceed,” a source told the agency. “Last time simply was not implemented,” he added. “This is a measure that may not bring immediate and dramatic savings (in expenses), but will lend credibility to all our efforts for reform,” another source stressed.
Finance Ministry’s economic team is expected to present details of the plan to the political leaders. However, the labour reserve issue is expected to create new tension in the coalition, as PASOK and Democratic Left are opposed to the measure, saying they are willing to honour their pre-election commitments.
According to Finance Ministry sources, Greece expects to get its next tranche of international aid immediately after lenders give their final verdict in mid-September as regards the progress of the bailout programme. More T-bills are expected to be issued later in August to cover a EUR 3.2 billion government bond that matures August 20.
Deputy Finance Minister Christos Staikouras said the EC-ECB-IMF troika will return to Athens in early September and complete their review by the middle of the month.
“If that happens and the process is completed by September 14 -this is the framework we’re working within, that’s what we’ve agreed to -then obviously the tranche, if the review is positive as we expect it to be, will come immediately after,” Staikouras said, according to Reuters. Asked if he expected the tranche to be disbursed by the end of September, Staikouras replied: “Immediately after means that if the review is positive, this will open the path for the next tranche.”