The Greek Parliament has passed a Bill which is supposed to cut the civil service by 15,000 by the end of next year. It seems that this Bill has gone against the constitution, which had guaranteed public sector jobs for life. That, I have to say, is the most bizarre constitutional practice I have ever heard of. In fact, I am rather surprised that the infamous Constitution for Europe a. k. a. the Lisbon Treaty did not have an Article of that kind in it.
Meanwhile, at the other end of the Continent and the spectrum, Iceland has just taken another step away from EU membership.
Centre-right opposition parties in Iceland are set for a return to power with all the votes counted after Saturday's parliamentary election.Not only are the two parties that will now negotiate likely to try to concentrate on economic growth, they are also, much more importantly, eurosceptic.
The Independence party polled 26.7% and the Progressive party 24.4%, putting them on track to win 38 of the 63 seats.
The ruling Social Democrats' share of the vote dropped to below 13%.
Two new parties performed particularly well: Bright Future, which won six seats, and the Pirate party, with three.Of course, one needs to talk one's own party up in politics but this is overdoing things somewhat.
The Social Democrats saw their share of the vote fall dramatically to 12.9% (nine seats) while the Left-Greens' vote fell to 10.9% (seven seats).
Social Democrat leader Arni Pall Arnason, while disappointed, refused to acknowledge that the two centre-right parties had been given a major vote of confidence. "Their democratic mandate to change society is absolutely zero," he said.