30 November, 2005
An inner cabinet meeting on Tuesday unanimously approved a draft legislation aiming to promote changes in public sector enterprises.
Speaking to reporters, after the meeting, Economy and Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis said the draft bill would bring radical changes and stressed it would lead to a restructuring of public enterprises and organizations. New hirings to enterprises in which the state owns an equity stake of more than 51 pct would be made through ASEP - the civil service's hiring agency.
Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos said public sector enterprises in which the state was not a majority shareholder could request ASEP's assistance in new hirings.
Transport and Communications Minister Mihalis Liapis said the new legislation was promoting new standards for economic management and supervision of public sector enterprises with the aim to offer better services to citizens and combat overspending. Public sector enterprises would operate on market criteria and would be supervised by an Inter-ministerial Commission, Liapis said.
Labor Minister Panos Panagiotopoulos said public sector enterprises would become more competitive and stressed that a view of permanent work positions in the public sector was outdated and offended those working in the private sector.
Commenting on the draft bill during Tuesday's regular press briefing, government spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos described it as a "significant breakthrough for the refoundation of the State, which was a pre-election promise made by New Democracy".
He stressed aspects of the new law, such as the introduction of private-sector management principles and international accounting standards for public enterprises and organizations, or the shift of bourse-listed state utilities into the private sector.
The spokesman also focused on the changes to labor relations with public-sector enterprises and utilities, so that newly-hired staff were recruited with the same terms as equivalent private-sector companies, with new labor contracts drawn up in line with labor law and the rationalization of wages of the presidents, governors and board-members of public-sector companies.
Source: Athens News Agency