SYRIZA Will Hire 8,500 Sanitation Workers in Patronage Binge

Alexis Charitsis. (Photo by Tatiana Bolari/Eurokinissi, FILE)

ATHENS – After critics said the ruling Radical Left SYRIZA, falling in polls, was trying to buy votes before the next elections by hiring thousands of public workers, the government is now planning to put 8,500 more workers in the Sanitation department to collect rubbish.

Interior Minister Alexis Haritsis said the planned hirings, which would come after temporary workers in the department on short-term contracts demanded permanent, lifetime jobs was being done not to pacify them but because of “permanent and enduring” needs he didn’t explain.

He met with Giorgos Patoulis, President of the Central Union of Municipalities of Greece, who said there was a need for negotiations to solve “serious problems” faced by municipalities, such as providing daycare centers for working parents with children that he said are coming.

After promising to put an end to patronage, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras instead has hired more than 20,000 more workers after years of austerity saw state payrolls slashed, and he’s hired a number of Special Advisors at salaries as high as 2,000 euros a month with no indication of what they would do nor if they were qualified.