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Tsipras pledges to modernize public sector with new three-year plan

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras presented the government's proposals to overhaul the public sector by ending clientelism and digitizing services on Wednesday, during an event organized by the ministry of administrative reform at the Benaki Museum.

Tsipras said the main aim of the 2017-2019 strategy included in the three-year plan is to depoliticize the public administration. 
"The reforms in the administration will lay the foundations for a state that offers real service to its citizens; a state that will have nothing to do with what we have experienced so far and with what we know so far," he said. 
"[The habit of] viewing the state as loot and as a tool for clientelism continued for decades until the years of the crisis. The same view of the state [...] appears today in the form of the sly and allegedly liberal cries for the abolition of the constitutional protection of permanence in the public sector" he added. 
He said during the economic crisis, the public sector switched from being a "child of the system" to being the "poor relation" on which some politicians tried to unload their own "sins". Tsipras accused New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis of trying to incriminate the entire public administration during his tenure at the helm of the ministry of public administration in 2015, saying "we learned then that reforms don't mean meritocracy, but layoffs." 
He cited the establishment of the Supreme Council for Civil Personnel Selection (ASEP), the National School of Public Administration and the Citizen Service Centres (KEP) as positive measures taken in the past. 
A separate step will be to make Greece one of the first countries worldwide where the licensing procedure for new businesses is fully digitized, he said, and pledged to make all transactions with the state electronic by 2020.  
As part of this goal, Tsipras said the ministry of public administration will announce a new series of written exams in mid-2018 to hire new scientists in the public sector and announced the government's plans to come up with added incentives to repatriate Greek scientists who left the country.