(Greece) – The Hellenic Telecommunications Organization, or OTE, has announced their Voluntary Exit Scheme, which is said to put about 350 workers, who have volunteered to leave, out of jobs. This voluntary exit is targeting OTE employees that are nearing the age of retirement. Although this will put them out of work sooner than they otherwise would have, the program is completely voluntary and will free up the job slots to help create new work opportunities for the new generation. They released the scheme on Wednesday and they predict that 350 employees will take part. It will cost about 54 million euros to implement and it also won’t impact state pensions.
This announcement also comes at a time when the CEO has announced that the company is actually growing. In a meeting addressing shareholders, Michael Tsamaz, the CEO, said that the past year (2015) was a successful one for the company. He said that the OTE was responsible for developing next generation networks and infrastructure. The OTE is Greece’s largest telecom provider and one of the biggest groups in Europe. They have a presence in Romania and Albania as well as in Greece. It’s one of the largest companies on the Athens Stock Exchange. Deutsche Telekom does have a 40% stake in the Hellenic Telecommunications Organization.
This scheme is appealing to those who will sign up for it because it helps them leave the company on good terms in a time where the overall economy in Greece has been shaky. Recently, the government received their first payment from their third bailout since 2010 and with it, people all over the country are impacted by the newest wave of austerity measures. These include tax increases, pension cuts, and a decrease in civil worker salaries. The Voluntary Exit Scheme, however, isn’t actually decreasing jobs, it’s allowing the company to free up jobs for the younger generation, the demographic that is most impacted by unemployment.