Press Review: Government moves to liquidate 15,000 public sector posts

Tuesday, 30 July: Fifteen thousand low-qualified State workers have two months in September and November to accept an amicable split with the Portuguese civil service and get benefits or be fired.

Press Review — 30 July 2013 by Chris Graeme
Press Review: Government moves to liquidate 15,000 public sector posts
Correio da Manhã

«Government forces through compulsory severance in the public administration», writes Correio da Manhã as state employees facing the axe will receive their ADSE health system benefits* if they go without a struggle.

*In Portugal there is a sub-system attached to the National Health Service whereby public sector workers can get access to treatments in public and private hospitals at more competitive rates than the rest of the population, effectively creating a three-tier health service system – private, civil service system and public.

«Four politicians need 100 police in the Algarve», says the tabloid Correio da Manhã as Government figures, including President Aníbal Cavaco Silva and Prime Minister, Pedro Passos Coelho head to Portugal’s holiday region and need round-the-clock security.


«Public sector workers who accept their amicable severance with the State will maintain their right to ADSE or access to beneficial health treatment» reports Público, as the opposition PS party admits that it will demand to know if the Government’s mobility policy for public sector workers and increased working hours to 40 hours a week approved in Parliament on Monday is actually constitutional or not. If the Constitutional Court throws out the measures the Government’s legitimacy could be called into question.

«The Ministries of the Economy and Defence evaluate offsets» says Público following the decision by ex-Minister of the Economy, Álvaro Santos Pereira, to cancel torpedo contracts for the German submarines that Portugal bought from Man Ferrostaal in 2004 when Paulo Portas was the then Minister of National Defence. The European Union has effectively decided to end the rotten system of offsets whereby lucrative military hardware contracts are signed on the back of sweeteners designed to help the national economies of the purchasing countries after it had been revealed that the armaments supply companies rarely meet the agreed offsets targets which are often mired in corruption.

Diário de Notícias

«Public sector workers that accept severance will retain their rights to ADSE health benefits» states Diário de Notícias as a programme aimed at lesser qualified public sector employees could see 15,000 shown the door but they will retain the right to access the State workers’ sub-system of health where staff get medical treatment perks in private hospitals at cheaper rates. However the amicable severances have to be agreed between September 1 and November 30 to qualify. The Government reckons that by axing 15,000 workers it will have to fork out €507m in compensation.

«Motion will reveal economic and social policies» says Diário de Notícias as the Government goes to Parliament today with its Motion of Confidence following the political crisis earlier this month which resulted in the President of the Republic Aníbal Cavaco Silva having to accept a major coalition government reshuffle including Paulo Portas as Deputy Prime Minister. The opposition parties have already said they will vote against the motion which is being discussed on Tuesday afternoon.

Jornal de Notícias

«School books now set families back €264» says Jornal de Notícias, as the book bank association Agrupamento Alexandre Herculano activates a book-sharing scheme to help cash-strapped parents cope with the mounting costs of education. The cost of school materials rose 2.6% in relation to last year.

«Confidence motion highlights differences between Passos and PS» says Jornal de Notícias as the Prime Minister’s call for ‘national union’ seems to be falling on deaf ears amongst the Socialist seats in Parliament ahead of the vote on Tuesday in which the opposition parties are likely to vote against the ruling coalition PSD-CDS parties.


«Government creates informal group to study the future of RTP» reports i as the Government creates an informal group to study the future of RTP and will be asking essential questions such as what is the best model of financing to secure the public broadcaster’s sustainability and future.

«BPN – DCIAP (the State’s criminal investigation department) launches investigation into incorrect information that heaped €100m onto the deficit in the fallout to the BPN bank failure». The Portuguese State Attorney’s office was sent the case to investigate by Maria Luís Albuquerque in April over incorrect amounts on credit transfers which made Portugal’s budget deficit worse. The Government had to nationalise the troubled Banco Português de Negócios bank whose credits were then passed on to a company created by the State, Parvalorem, before it was sold on to the bank BIC.

Diário Económico

«It’s important to reach and agreement over IRC reform» reports the business daily as Nuno Amado, executive president of bank BCP, presented the results for the first half of the year for the bank which clocked up losses of €488m, despite selling its operation in Greece. Nuno Amado also talks about the reform of IRC Corporation Tax in an interview.

«Swaps controversy» says Diário Económico as Minister of Finance, Maria Luís Albuquerque and ex-Minister of Finance, Vítor Gaspar, head off to Parliament to clear up doubts at the Parliamentary commission investigating the fixed interest bank loans negotiated for public companies that led to billions being lost with the tax payer having to pick up the tab.

Jornal de Negócios

«PUBLIC SECTOR WORKERS – Is it better to amicably sever or be made redundant», reports Jornal de Negócios, as the Government ensures ADSE health care access for 15,000 low-qualified public sector employees if they accept amicable severance agreements. Workers who apply for severance between September 1 and November 30 will also get a better compensation deal but they will not be allowed to have access to unemployment benefit. Those public sector workers who accept to move around where the State needs them (mobility) get a one year reprieve before being shown the door. Renamed “Requalification” these mobility workers have a year to find a new full-time post during which they will receive part of their salary (67% in the first six months and 50% in the months that follow). Age, length of service, professional seniority or job description, salary level and supplementary payments will all weigh in on the final compensation package that these public sector workers will receive.

A Bola

«The market of gold» says A Bola as the paper focuses on Benfica, Sporting and FC Porto’s multi-million euro deals involving players Cardoza, Jackson and Bruma. The Eagles (Benfica) are awaiting bank guarantees from Turkish club Fenerbahçe which is offering €12m. Nápoles extended its offer but couldn’t pay the €40m price tag asked by FC Porto. In his analysis, the author Miguel Sousa Tavares says he can’t understand why these clubs fork out millions for players only to lend them out to other clubs.


«Sporting negotiates for Zé Eduardo», reports Record, on the Brazilian striker who is linked to Genoa. The club is also said to be interested in Kanu, the mid-fielder was trained by Jardim at Beira Mar.

O Jogo

«Bernard just needs the OK from Atlético» reports O Jogo, as BMG Bank which holds a 20% stake in the player admits its interest in having the Brazilian player at FC Porto. “I intend to sort this all out as quickly as possible” says the player.

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