Cuba’s public-sector layoffs signal major shift

| 14/09/2010

(New York Times): In perhaps the clearest sign yet that economic change is gathering pace in Cuba, the government plans to lay off more than half a million people from the public sector in the expectation that they will move into private businesses. Over the past several months, President Raúl Castro has given stern warnings that Cuba’s economy needs a radical overhaul, beginning with its workers. With as many as one million excess employees on the state payroll, Mr. Castro has said, the government is supporting a bloated bureaucracy that has sapped motivation and long sheltered a huge swath of the nation’s workers. “We have to erase forever the notion that Cuba is the only country in the world where one can live without working,” he told the National Assembly last month.

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