It seems that whatever the government had succeeded with the public sector’s expenditure at the time bankrupt Cyprus was under the memorandum signed with foreign lenders it is slowly but steadily going to waste.
The government had succeeded in decreasing the number of public employees to 4.500 as well as freezing promotions. Yet, it seems that all the House of Representatives is doing these days is approving requested positions of first appointment and of promotions approved by the Council of Ministers.
On Monday, the House is to examine a new demand by the government which wants 262 frozen positions to open in a bid to cover needs in the Ministries of Finance, of Agriculture, in the broader public sector and the local administration. In addition, the government wants the immediate opening of a permanent secretary position in the fledgling deputy ministry of tourism and the filling of that of the now retired permanent secretary in the Ministry of Communications and Works.
In a letter sent to the House Finance Committee, the Ministry of Finance calls for approval of the listed positions arguing that “for the smooth and efficient operation of public services and departments it is essential for these positions to be filled.”
Positions in the Nicosia and Larnaca Sewerage Boards, the Cyprus Ports Authority, and Cyprus Sports Federation are just a few of those included in the list sent to parliament. In addition, opening of positions are requested for the following municipalities: Ayia Napa, Aglandjia, Larnaca, Latsia, Limassol, Nicosia, Paphos and Paralimni.
It seems that gradually the government is taking the public sector back to pre-2012 levels considered at the time to have been ‘over-bloated’.
By Eleftheria Peizanou