Portugal tops list for civil servants

PORTUGAL’S GOVERNMENT employs the highest number of public service workers in Europe in relation to its population, a new survey carried out by EUROSTAT, the European Commission’s, statistics office, has revealed.

The report has been released at an opportune moment for the Portuguese government, which is currently discussing reforms relating to contracts, careers and salaries with the public service workers’ unions.

In Portugal, whose population stands at 10 million, there is one civil servant for every 17.6 members of the population, a statistic that gives Portugal the dubious honour of occupying the top spot in the ranking of European Union countries.

A total of 568,384 public service workers are employed directly and indirectly by the State of Portugal, not including those working at regional and local administrative offices, 38,740 and 130,650 respectively.  Spain employs one public service worker per every 33.4 members of the population, putting Spain at number 18.

If you compare Portugal to a European country with an equivalent population, such as Hungary (17th on the list), Portugal’s number of civil servants remains high. Hungary’s government employs 292,000 civil servants, which equates to one for every 34.2 members of the population. The UK is number 11 with Holland in 10th.

Unions representing the civil servants argue that there are not too many public service workers, rather the problem relates to poor human resource management on the part of the government.

Meanwhile, the government is seeking to reduce state expenses and, ultimately, reducing the number of civil servants.