By Angelos Anastasiou
THE House Finance committee yesterday approved the unfreezing of 785 promotions in the public sector.
Following a committee session that was addressed by Finance Minister Harris Georgiades, who argued the measure’s merits, chairman and DIKO leader Nikolas Papadopoulos said that the government’s request had been approved.
“After the clarifications made by the Finance minister, we have concluded that in this case the preferred decision would be to approve these promotions,” he said.
But Papadopoulos clarified that DIKO’s legislative proposal to unfreeze all promotions in the public sector remained on the table, adding that after some legal issues have been studied it “might return to the agenda in September.”
Papadopoulos confirmed that following the committee’s decision, promotions may commence today, if required.
AKEL deputy Yiannos Lamaris said that his party concurred that 785 out of 5,000 frozen promotions should be released, and criticised the government’s original decision to freeze all promotions in the government and broader public sector.
“We today agreed to the unfreezing of these promotions, while at the same time keeping the proposal to unfreeze all positions, which we have submitted with DIKO,” he said.
Lamaris explained that the government’s initial decision to issue a blanket freeze on all promotions is “proven wrong by the current discussions on which to unfreeze, when to unfreeze them, whether there will be additional costs incurred, and what that cost will be.”
“It is imperative that we unfreeze some promotions so that departments lacking managers, directors and headmasters can operate properly, which is why we will return in September with a proposal that would remove responsibility from the House, to neutralise suspicion on which promotions are unfrozen and which are not,” he said.