Greece to Fire 30K Workers
Budget deficit will fall short of EU, IMF targets
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 2, 2011 3:35 PM CDT
Protesters from a communist-backed union chant slogans in an anti-austerity protest in central Athens, with several thousand people outside the Greek Parliament, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2011.   (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)
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(Newser) – The Greek economic tragedy took another hair-raising turn today, Reuters reports. Enacting an austerity plan to attract EU and IMF loans, politicians there announced a new plan to place 30,000 workers in a "labor reserve" where they will earn partial pay and be laid off in a year. "The labor reserve measure was approved unanimously" by the Greek cabinet, says a deputy minister who took part in the meeting.

Greece will also fall short of budget deficit targets set by the IMF and EU for this year and next, according to numbers published today. The deficit will hit 8.5% of GDP in 2011, well above the 7.6% target, and is expected to drop to 6.8% in 2012, barely missing a 6.5% target. Greek leaders blame their higher-than-forecast deficits on a contracting economy, but lenders accuse them of failing to enact much-needed structural changes.