The upcoming changes to the Greek social security system have prompted a wave of retirements in the civil service in the last year, thereby reducing the size of the public sector by almost 12,000 people with hardly any layoffs.
The period from November 2014 to November 2015 saw a reduction by 11,967 civil servants, most of which were attributed to departures by retirees, according to official data from the Internal Affairs and Administrative Reform Ministry, as published on the apografi.gr website.
Within one month, from October to November 2015, 737 civil servants departed from the public sector, taking the total number of state employees to 567,195. This compares with 579,164 employees in November 2014. The biggest share of departing employees was from the Internal Affairs Ministry itself (151), followed by local authorities (136), the Health Ministry (119) and the Education Ministry (113).
The only ministry to show a net increase in employees in November was the National Defense Ministry, with 86,694 staff against 86,341 in October, the official data show.
However, this increase is explained by a rise in hirings due to a boost in admissions at military training establishments and the Hellenic Police school.