In praise of the diligent civil servant

Recent stereotypical characterizations of Greece’s public sector workers are too often the product of overt generalizations and broad simplifications. To be sure, the broader public sector employs a large number of staff who show complete indifference or extreme negligence in carrying out their tasks while also enjoying perks that hardly reflect their performance. On the other hand, one cannot disregard out of hand the fact that there are also quite a few civil servants who behave competently and professionally and who often have to compensate for their underperforming colleagues. We have to support these diligent people so that the government can carry out the mammoth task of trimming the state sector’s phenomenal waste and expenses. No attempt toward structural reform will succeed unless it depends on the most vital and dynamic parts of public administration which are now called upon to pay the price for other people’s sins.