30 JUN 2011
By Andrew Rettman
EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - The European Commission has proposed to get rid of 5 percent of EU officials and to make remaining staff work longer in a show of fraternal feeling with crisis-hit member states.
The proposals come as part of Brussels' blueprint for the EU budget for the 2012 to 2020 period, out on Wednesday (29 June).
Commenting on the plan commission head Jose Manuel Barroso said: "European institutions should ... show solidarity with European citizens, in an era where rigorous cost savings and maximum efficiency are demanded at all levels."
The 5 percent cut would see around 2,500 fonctionnaires pensioned off or let go when their contracts expire over a five year period from 2013 onward.
The other 47,500-or-so staff will be made to work at least 40 hours per week instead of the current 37.5 hours with no extra pay. Their retirement age will also go up from 63 to 65 years and the number of special holidays designed for officials to visit their home countries will go down from six days a year to two.
Administration commissioner Maros Sefcovic said the measures will save an extra €1 billion. "No-one will be dismissed or forced to retire," he added.
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