NEWS

Most state workers in Athens, while the provinces are short of employees

Apart from the low educational level of the majority of employees, corruption, and inadequate supervision, unbalanced staff distribution is a major problem in the public service. Staff shortages in the provinces and overcrowding in central offices seriously impede the operation of state mechanisms. The largest number of employees, 60 percent of the country’s total, is in the Attica prefecture. Thessaloniki prefecture follows, at a significant distance; it employs 5,167 staff, or 5.7 percent of the Greek total. Next come the prefectures of Achaia and Larissa, with about 3 percent each. The vast majority of ministry employees work in Attica: 100 percent of the staff of the ministries of Foreign Affairs, Health and Welfare and the General Secretariats for Trade and Tourism; 98.4 percent of Press Ministry staff, 85 percent of National Economy Ministry staff and 96.4 percent of staff in the Industrial Energy and Technology departments of the Development Ministry. All Macedonia-Thrace Ministry staff work in Thessaloniki, just as all Aegean Ministry staff work in Mytilene. The most regular distribution of staff throughout Greece is in the ministries of Justice, Education and Culture. Municipalities and communities present a similar picture, with unequal staff distribution most glaringly apparent in comparisons of municipalities with roughly the same population. For instance, the municipality of Alexandreia in the prefecture of Imathia, with a population of 19,283, has 24 employees, whereas the municipality of Kos, with 17,890 residents, has 253 employees. This gross discrepancy is reflected in the municipality of Thessaloniki, where 3,315 staff meet the needs of 363,987 inhabitants. The same applies to prefectures and regional administrations. In the Attica region, 3,761,801 residents are served by 820 staff, while in Crete, with one sixth of the population (601,131), there are 612 appointed staff.