FT: Greece Violating Bailout Terms by Hiring More Public Workers

Friday, 16 Sep 2011 08:14 AM

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Greece hired 7,000 public-sector workers and laid off 20,000 in the first seven months of this year, which reportedly violates terms of bailout conditions.

Bailout terms say Greece can add one civil servant for every ten it fires, according to conditions imposed by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund, the Financial Times reports, citing local Greek media who obtained government data.

A loophole in those conditions enabled government entities to keep on hiring.

Greece is struggling to enact austerity measures to improve its economy to comply with aid terms.

Some of those measures on top of strict hiring terms, including tax hikes.

Many are worried if the government is able pull such a task off and have even called for outsiders such as international audit firms to come to the country and collect taxes themselves.

"We see flurries of activity by the finance ministry every few months. So far these haven’t resulted in the correct implementation of measures agreed with the EU and IMF, or the achievement of fiscal targets," one European observer says, the Financial Times adds.

Greece's budget deficit is poised to leap as high as 8.2 percent of gross domestic product, much higher than a 7.4 percent target set by the finance ministry.

Some private sector economists believe the deficit could hit 10 percent of GDP.

Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos says the debt-ridden country is facing a fourth year locked in recession, which makes austerity measures all the more painful.

"There is a cumulative recession lasting three years, that now will become four years," Venizelos tells his country's parliament, according to the Associated Press.

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