26 September 2023

GREECE: Concern as more quit public sector

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A significant rise in the number of Public Servants retiring this year has alarmed the Greek Government

The Ministry of Finance has reported that around 15,100 Government workers had either retired or were planning to retire before the end of the year, most of them from the health and education sectors.

That would be a record figure, although social security experts estimate that departures may actually end up being much higher, possibly exceeding 20,000.

The total figure of departures from the public and private sectors combined is expected to surpass 200,000 this year, as the applications submitted to the Single Social Security Entity (EFKA) from January until the end of October amounted to 170,000 — equal to the amount filed in the whole of 2020.

According to official data from the Ministry’s draft Budget, while 2019 saw the retirement of 8,191 public sector workers, in 2020 that number rose to 11,367, and for 2021 the estimate is 15,174 departures.

The Ministry said it expected a significant reduction next year, down to 9,652 departures.

Public healthcare workers and school teachers have been scrambling to find a way out in the last couple of years, seeking to escape the front-line pressures of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This year they are likely to account for 73 per cent of all Public Service departures.

However, there have also been significant losses due to retirements at the EFKA itself, with officials expecting the departure of more than 600 employees this year, more than twice the rates of previous years.

Athens, 2 December 2021

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