Number of public employees should shrink 8 to 10 thousand, says Chancellery chief

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Latvia should embark on a road of dramatic reform and reduce the number of state sector employees by 8,000 to 10,000, State Chancellery chief Mārtiņš Krieviņš told Latvian Radio's Krustpunktā Thursday.

Krieviņš said there are 57,000 employees in the public sector in Latvia, including firemen, policemen, medical emergency staff, the State Environmental Service and others.

According to the law, 11,000 of them are civil servants, while 3,500 are "mythical bureaucrats" who according to Krieviņš sit around drinking coffee and creating administrative burden.

The State Chancellery is to present a reform roadmap next week or later, reviewing possible reductions in public administration functions. 

Krieviņš said that for Latvia to reach the average EU level in public administration, it should fire about 8,000 to 10,000 state-sector employees.

He also used the interview to complain about low wages in the public sector. At the moment, said Krieviņš, low wages are "one of the reasons why it's difficult to attract and retain good people to work in state administration."

Krieviņš said that currently wages for demanding state sector jobs are 50% to 65% lower than in the private sector. He proposes raising these to 80% of the average private sector pay.

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