ATHENS – With most Greek civil servants taking repeated pay cuts during more than 8 ½ years of austerity measures attached to three international bailouts of 326 billion euros ($372.44 billion) – except Parliament workers who threatened to strike – some staff at the Finance Ministry have been given pay hikes,
The ruling Radical Left SYRIZA-led coalition, which has also cut pensions, defended the pay hikes saying they were necessary for high-level positions at supervised entities, such as the Independent Authority of Public Revenue to bring the salaries of newly-hired staff up to the level of their peers who had been hired before November 2011.
The government it was done because some workers were quitting or refusing to take positions of higher-responsibility without explaining why that’s not the case in other ministries with the same problem.
Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos has negotiated austerity reforms with the country’s creditors and defended tough measures on Greek workers but now some of his key staff have been exempted from those being put on others.
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has also been hiring party loyalists to Special Advisor positions at salaries of up to 2,000 euros ($2284) a month, twice what many doctors and teachers get and with the duties of the advisors not spelled out.