NEWS

State employs nearly 1 in 5 workers

Almost one in five Greeks who has a job is a civil servant, according to the results of the first ever census of public sector workers to be carried out in Greece, the results of which were made public yesterday. Just over 768,000 state workers registered their details via an online system between July 9 and 29. The government launched the initiative after being pressured by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund to record in more detail the size of the country’s public sector work force. Before this exercise, only estimates existed about how many civil servants there were in Greece. The information will also be used by the government to set up a new authority that will be responsible for paying all civil servants. At the moment, they are paid from a variety of ministry and other special accounts. «The process of conducting this census is very significant because it will help us control salary payments, identify any discrepancies and give the average Greek citizen a clear picture of where his or her money is going,» said Interior Minister Yiannis Ragousis. The number of civil servants represents 17.5 percent of the overall working population, which totals 4.4 million people. From the analysis of the data submitted by the bureaucrats, it emerged that 54 percent were men and one-third are aged between 40 and 50. Almost 40 percent have a university education and 28 percent have only finished high school. The civil servants’ union, ADEDY, said the census result dispelled «myths» about there being as many as 2 million workers in the public sector. The union said the number of civil servants as a proportion of the Greek work force was lower than the European Union average. However, yesterday’s figure does not include workers in the broader public sector. A census of employees at public utilities and companies is to start in September.