Numerous municipalities and prefectures in Greece have been exploiting EC employment funding programs to hire thousands of people in local and regional government, according to a report by Protothema.gr.
Using the European Commission’s (EC) Stages employment project, funded through the EC’s National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF) plan for the creation of social infrastructure (social food stores, food rations, pharmacies etc), local governments and prefectures have been hiring their cronies, initially as trainees, with the promise of converting their 3-year employment contracts into permanent job positions via the recent amendment passed by the Greek government in parliament.
According to Protothema, the whole procedure is taking place through the NGOs and is in the knowledge of the Labour Ministry. The prefectures announce tenders for the social infrastructure programs, with either NGOs or collaborations between local authorities and NGOs allowed to participate.
The local governments usually opt to act in collaboration with the NGOs due to the latter’s technical competence. But the main reason to pick a partnership is the fact that the criteria for hiring people are usually circumvented or changed to suit the hiring of cronies. Protothema.gr is in the possession of an employment contract which specifies 25 points are awarded for someone with children, while the legal compulsory points awarded should be 20 points, in accordance to Supreme Council for Civil Personnel Selection (ASEP).
A troubling matter is also the fact that an NGO called the European Cultural and Research Centre of Athens (EPEKA) has signed contracts amounting to 6 million euros, mainly with the prefectures of Attica and central Macedonia, for the creation of infrastructures in 21 municipalities, in contravention to the commonly accepted limit of 3 to 4 contracts per organisation.