150,000 Greek Public Sector Job Cuts Pending As Greece Launches Another Grexit "Plan B" Movement

Tyler Durden's picture

The eye of the hurricane over Southeast Europe may soon be shifting, exposing Greece to the same 150 mph gale turmoil everyone has grown to love and expect over the past three years as soon as this month, when a new proposal by Greece is due on how to cut a massive 150,000 public sector jobs: a move which will result in an immediate surge in public unrest, and an exponential jump in strike activity. As Bloomberg reports, "Greece is locked in talks with international creditors in Athens about shrinking the government workforce by enough to keep bailout payments flowing. Identifying redundant positions and putting in place a system that will lead to mandatory exits for about 150,000 civil servants by 2015 is a so-called milestone that will determine whether the country gets a 2.8 billion-euro ($3.6 billion) aid installment due this month. More than a week of talks on that has so far failed to clinch an agreement."

“Public sector job cuts are a major part of the program and they are one of the most politically difficult parts to achieve,” said Holger Schmieding, chief economist at Berenberg Bank in London. “And for the Greek government, which has two left-of-center parties, it is extremely difficult to really implement those job cuts. I’m afraid this will likely stay a point of contention, review after review after review.”

As a result Europe can continue keeping its eyes closed and continue handing over billions in unconditional aid to Greece, however, with Germans increasingly unhappy with the arrangement where their country is the only designated driver at the European alcoholic relapse free for all, this may be untenable. Therefore, it is likely that Greece will have to come through with at least some major muscle cutting proposals. These in turn will certainly inflame the country, and force it to rethink its pro-European majority stance, especially now that as Kathimerini reports, the country has not one but two counter-Eurozone political powers:

Former SYRIZA leader Alekos Alavanos has announced plans to launch a movement that will campaign for Greece to leave the euro.


"All countries have a Plan B for Greece, only Greece does not have a Plan B should it have to leave the euro," Alavanos told Skai television on Tuesday.


He said the movement would aim to stand in the European Parliament elections in 2014 and would favor a return to the drachma.


"If Greece were to exit the European Union we would be much better off than we are today and would never have had to reach this point," he said, adding "that no country has ever managed to exit a crisis with a 'hard' currency. The euro is a hard and expensive currency."


He said that his movement will also favor the nationalization of banks and for Greece to repudiate its debt.


"It is madness to have the same currency as Germany when Germany, unlike us, has a stable economy," Alavanos said.

Alavanos is, of course, right. However, with the empirical evidence of what 2 years of Greece on the brink of European departure has shown, is that the last thing Europe will agree to is a return to a Greece that is one foot in, one foot out of the Euro, as this will immediately put the OMT in play: an OMT, which as we have repeatedly discussed in the past, is wonderful in Draghi talking points to clueless reporters, but an epic failure if and when it should actually be put into use.

And Greece, where it all started back in 2010, may be just the catalyst that brings Europe, where nothing at all has been fixed in the past three years when one ignores the central bank-manipulated markets, full circle.

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Stoploss's picture

Eh, it's POMO day again anyway.

espirit's picture

Print moar, give moar.

That's not so hard to understand.

herpderp's picture

Christ, I'm supposed to be going on holiday to Kos this summer..may start digging out my old drachmas!

rotagen's picture

The road of inaction and denial can be long and arduous as long as there are people who sit in ignorance and complacency.  The story grows tiresome.  Touch my monkey.

mckee's picture

Kind of amazing there are 150,000 left to cut

Freddie's picture

I think half of the population is/was unionized govt workers in Greece. The Detroit/Calliefornia/Illinois/Gary Indiana of europe.  Totally corrupt, totally broke and totally union.

mckee's picture

"It is madness to have the same currency as Germany when Germany, unlike us, has a stable economy,"




BurningFuld's picture

"It is madness to have the same currency as Germany when Germans like to work and we...not so much."

aleph0's picture

..."does not have a Plan B should it have to leave the euro,"...

Does anyone know wjhether their Gold is still there ?
112 tons IIRC.




Sudden Debt's picture

gold? we don't talk gold... unless it's there...

Haus-Targaryen's picture

I have a hard time believing that there is no PlanB for Greece to exit the Euro. 

stopcpdotcom's picture

Scrapping most of the government is a good idea for any country.

Terminus C's picture

What do you mean?  Government by the bankers, for the bankers is what's best for us.  Surely you can see that.

We need Moar!

BurningFuld's picture

You are correct..only problem is in Greece the Government dole encompasses most working people....this will end very badly for Greece. They are way to far down the Rabbit hole.

rsnoble's picture

Greece is in the nursing home. Just pull the plug they're already dead.

Peter Pan's picture

How about pulling the plug on all profligate governments around the world?

ziggy59's picture

If there are no govt workers left, why do they need any govt bailouts?

Terminus C's picture

The bailouts are not for the governments.

Accounting101's picture

Exactly! The bailouts go to the big (German) banks as these same banks demand austerity on the populace.

Haus-Targaryen's picture

Tyler, how would Greece opting for a one foot in one foot out strategy by Greece put the OMT in play?  If they are leaving the Euro, and repudiating their debt, they certainly are not complying with the Germanic austerity.  Wouldn't this just be a blank check for all other ClubMED countries to throw out austerity and demand free cash?

Sudden Debt's picture

150000 today and 200000 if they wait another year...

SHIT is a funny thing... it sticks... and smells worse tomorrow than today...

Peter Pan's picture

The public sector jobs they need to cut first is at least half of the 300 member parlament.

Hongcha's picture

 "Greece is locked in talks with international creditors in Athens about shrinking the government workforce by enough to keep bailout payments flowing..."

Can the Greek people have any pride of nation left at this point.  

Gordon Freeman's picture

I hope nobody thinks that they will actually be cutting anyone.  My guess is that by the next round of "negotiations", the number of Greeks in the public workforce will have risen substantially, as will have their pay and benefits.

Anyone thinking the Greek govenment has a micron of honesty and good faith has rocks in their head.  This is just a show to let Northern Europe try to save a bit of face, as they prepare for their next ass-raping...

Haus-Targaryen's picture

Very true.  Greece has northern Europe by the balls. 

Accounting101's picture

Right, with an overall unemployment rate of 30% and youth unemployment at 60%, the Greeks have the Germans right where they want them.


Jason T's picture

check out the net international investment positions of euroland.. while greece is a basket case, so is Spain, Portugal, Ireland, Hungary and a few others. 


These countries are owned by foreigners... the pen that writes those checks surely is mightier than the sword.  



overmedicatedundersexed's picture

let's hear it for the greeks, good on ya mates, keep draining the EU north, then when finally the north forces controls that no greek will do, repudiate the debt..they are the A team and they love it when a plan comes together..take all the money those idiots give us promise promise but never comply, and so far the germans keep giving us euro's ..only fault I have with the greeks is they have given too much austerity, don't they know they can bring the EU down if they stop paying the vig??

Overdrawn's picture

The Greek Government contracted Blackwater last November to protect Parliament.  I think this is evidence that they do have a plan B, and with these thugs, (who behaved so badly they were thrown out of Iraq), in place are prepared to use them to stamp out the unrest the rape of Greece has caused amongst the people.  Plan B looks like a plot to murder the population with the blessing and probably under the direction of the EEC.


Haus-Targaryen's picture

Why exactly is this not bigger news? (Tyler, this was directed at you)



Seasmoke's picture

Mr. Panos plan is still working. Genius !

Hobbleknee's picture

Cut by the end of 2015?  US politicians also promise future cuts that never happen.

pashley1411's picture

When the old SU went down, the story then was that the people from the prior generations were truely lost, unable to think in a value-added manner that would come naturally to your average, hmm, Nigerian.    Methinx the Greeks will have their own era in the wilderness.

I suggest they drill for oil and natural gas.    Baring that, sell their country on e-bay.

Albertarocks's picture

With Greece now realizing that they didn't have to end up in this position, and with the Italians watching... watch out.  The recent election of Bepe Grillo in Italy puts him and his party in a very powerful position and the Italians, especially the young, out of work Italians, are strongly behind him.  He has the potential to swing politics in that country 180 degrees.  And you can bet your bottom dollar those hot blooded young Romans are not going to bend over and take it Greek style from any god damned banker without one hell of a fight.  I think Italy could be the powder keg, not Greece.  Or maybe I should say not "only" Greece.

Kina's picture

150,000 so with the rest of their families, close friends and small businesses that depended on them all.... Maybe 500,000 extremely pissed off Greeks to add to the others.


Civil war is coming...

Kaiser Sousa's picture

just do it already Greeks...

what the fuck have ya'll been waiting on...

oh, i forgot - complete serfdom...

wake me when you tell your banker overlords to step the fuck off...

until then - crickets!

vote_libertarian_party's picture

So get some cash today if you PROMISE to cut some people 2 years from now.




alonedriver's picture

My friends...

At July 31, 2010 total public servants were 768.009 (http://apografi.yap.gov.gr/apografi/english.html)

Today (March 12, 2013) are 616004 (http://apografi.yap.gov.gr/apografi/totalaeng.asp)

So the number of public servants has already decreased 152005. The target of 150k less @ 2015 has already accomplished.

Do not believe everything that you read @ mainstream media.

Despite this, i strongly believe that Greece will not leave Euro. The euro will be crashed first cause of Italy and Spain.

Have a nice day.

Camlon's picture

 I think you are misunderstanding your own link. "Number of employees under Personnel Divisions: from 2010" is the same as the data you claim is from 2013. 

You shouldn't make assumptions from sources who are not clear

Also, I must say it is a terrible website. If I was going to make a website, I would at least put some previous data on it. 

Camlon's picture

Hard to say how many are actually working. I cant use time series, because they haven't updated those. But they have released the PDFs. 

But public administration, Education and defence has gone from 698.5 to 614.9 since 2009, so there has obviously been some cuts. But not really enough. 

Actually, in my opinion the problem is not the number of workers, but their salaries. They are way above market level, and should be cut drastically. 

Colonel Walter E Kurtz's picture

When have they ever cut salaries for government employees? It is layoffs so no work gets done and citizens complain, or early retirements so they can start collecting their bloated pensions. Must never...ever cut salaries, that is just for us commonfolk!

Peter Pan's picture

The Greeks are not draining anyone noro they have anyone by the balls. The savage cuts to pensions, to public servants' wages and even more so to private sector wages, along with savage and multiple tax increases, has left a population on the brink of collapse.

Greeks may deserve most of what they are copping but if the US was subjected to a similar dose of austerity for its unsustainable spending spree, then I guarantee you that there would be collapse within a month.

The problem for Greece is not the level of its wages but the fact that its manufacturing has been gutted over the years along with all the structural anomalies and demographic slide.

Nussi34's picture

Greece has received about EUR 50.000 per citizen since it joined the EU. Fiscal transfers screw countries up like kids that get to much money!


MS7's picture

What are the "two counter-Eurozone political powers" in Greece? Regarding the statement by Mr. Alavanos, I think the operative word is "former" head of Syriza. The current head expresses no intention of leaving the eurozone and recently went on a trip to the US and Germany to reassure everyone he was leftist in name only. I live in the US but from what I see nearly 100% of the politicians in Greece are corrupt. As far as I can tell, most of the lefties in Parliament only pretend to be lefties.

An interesting development is that one smaller conservative political party seems to be on friendly terms with Russia. Perhaps only with a powerful ally will Greece manage to get out of the eurozone.