Saturday, July 18, 2009

You can't buy me love - Votes, however are another matter.

Ahh, the smell of elections is in the air. You can tell that general elections are almost upon us when the ruling party starts announcing legislation that will give more people jobs in the public sector. Like so many of its predecessors the current conservative New Democracy party has proposed legislation that would lead to 80,000 employees on short term contracts with the civil service being given permanent jobs.

Although 80,000 doesn't sound like a big number in a nation of 11 million, it does represent a lot of families and more importantly gives a boost to the system of patron - client relations which forms the corner stone of the two major parties power structure here in Greece.

The promise of a permanent civil service position is a powerful incentive to many sick of the vaguaries of the country's private sector where labour laws are rarely ever applied. Many long for the security of a job where your wage is not subject to the whims or caprices of a boss who will fire you at the drop of the hat if they can find somebody willing to do you job for less money or not demand statutory health benefits.. Of course, you could report this to the relevent authorities, just like you could buy a lottery ticket and become a millionaire. The odds of success are about the same.

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