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By Peter Stevenson MEMBERS of Volunteer Doctors Cyprus have treated around 350 people at their free clinic in Nicosia since it opened three months ago, while two more, one in Paphos and one in Polis are due to open today. Limassol also has a free clinic, which was opened only last month, and plans have been drawn ...
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Cyprus Internet Directory [ State rebuffs ‘jobs for the boys’ accusation ]

State rebuffs ‘jobs for the boys’ accusation

Elias Hazou

THE administration yesterday rebuffed accusations that it was creating jobs for the boys through the hiring of ministerial aides and other presidential staffers.

Earlier, main opposition party AKEL charged also that the increase in staff stands at odds with the government’s professed hiring freeze in the public sector.

AKEL spokesman Giorgos Loucaides said a number of ministers had recently taken on personal aides while the office of the Presidency had hired four journalists.

Some of these individuals are earning up to €6,000 a month, Loucaides said, but he did not specify who.

Accusing the government of double standards, Loucaides said these hirings were not commensurate with austerity and cutbacks.

Nor were the DISY government’s appointment of extra commissioners and its plans to create the post of deputy minister, he said.

On his election, President Anastasiades revived the post of Presidential Commissioner responsible for overseas Cypriots and religious groups.

He also created a new office for the Commissioner for the Reform of the Public Service, and hired a deputy spokesman.

The government insists these new posts do not place an extra burden on state expenditures.

Responding to AKEL, government spokesman Christos Stylianides said the ministerial aides and the presidential staffers had been hired on a contract basis and that they received neither pensions nor other benefits given to civil servants.

And the cost of hiring of these people was well within the budget’s constraints, Stylianides said in a written statement.

The hiring of assistants for political persons is a long-standing practice in Cyprus and Europe, he added.

The Cabinet recently gave the go-ahead to ministers to hire personal aides on an A8 pay grade (€2,000).

The salaries paid to the extra staff at the Presidential Palace are not known.

In the case of the finance minister and the justice minister, the persons hired had been their aides in the past when they were MPs.

It’s not uncommon practice for politicians to take their staffers with them when they switch jobs.

According to figures revealed during a recent hearing of the panel inquiry into the near collapse of the economy, during the AKEL administration, the public service increased by nearly 5,000 people over five years.

(Source: Cyprus Mail)
Copyright © Cyprus Mail 2008 Please contact Cyprus Mail for the copyright terms of this article.

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