Tsipras promises 10K new public sector hirings, in place of clergy; general elex set for 2019

9 November 2018
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Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Thursday “raised the ante” from this week’s announcement that Orthodox Church clergymen will be removed from the state’s salary rolls in order to make way for new public sector hirings, promising tenders for 10,000 new positions in 2019 rather than 2020.

The stepped up timeframe for opening up new public sector positions comes as Tsipras’ ruling SYRIZA party now trails the center-right main opposition party by double-digit percentage points in practically all opinion polls over the past year and a half, and with Tsipras’ own voter approval ratings floundering ahead of next year’s general election.

He clarified, during a rare appearance on a private television station, that while job positions will be declared in 2019, the actual spots will be covered in 2020, a year after the general election.

If the provisional agreement with the Church of Greece comes to fruition, the roughly 10,000 clergymen will cease to be paid by the state as low-level civil servants, but instead will be paid by the Church itself. Nevertheless, the agreement calls for the Greek state to pay a “subsidy” now equally the yearly allocation for clergy’s salaries.

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