ATHENS – Greece’s ruling SYRIZA-led coalition is forging ahead with plans to rehire people with fake degrees and fraudulent certificates while firing others and not hiring people with qualifications.
That has led a woman whose daughter was passed over for a public sector job by people with forged credentials to write Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and ask him to enforce the transparency and meritocracy he promised to bring.
Olga Athanasiou, a cleaning lady, said her daughter had applied for a position at the Agricultural Bank of Greece and a state-run technical chamber over a decade ago, but had been rejected despite being a high school graduate with grades good enough to make a short list of potential hirees, Kathimerini reported.
In the letter – also signed by Michalis Kouroutos, the head of the Federation of Private School Teachers (OIELE) – Tsipras was urged to see to it that “our young have equal opportunities in education and the workplace, regardless of the school they went to and their socio-economic background.”
Athanasiou’s daughter is among scores of thousands of young people in a country where nearly half those under 25 can’t find work to be passed over for people with political connections and fraudulent credentials during decades of patronage under the former ruling New Democracy and PASOK parties.
That is now being continued by SYRIZA and its partner, the pro-austerity, far-right, jingoistic Independent Greeks (ANEL) and Tsipras, who is hiring unqualified friends to be Special Advisors at 2,000 euros ($2231), several times more than doctors and teachers.
No one has attempted to stop the practice, including current New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who, as Administrative Reform Minister, fired people without giving them notice as he promised.