Thursday, 2 December 2010

Capricornian Greece: 1 out of 4 is a civil servant!


(image: from a video by the "Imi-skoubria" group)

Modern Greece is a Capricornian country (please see my relative article here).  A Capricornian country should have a typically rigid and overgrown - "Kafka" type - public sector.  And indeed Greece has one. Out of a population of 11.000.000 an estimated 1.250.000 are civil servants! If we compare this number to the number of civil servants in some major European countries - like i.e. France, where out of 65.000.000 inhabitants only 1.680.000 are civil servants - then we will realise how over-inflated is the public sector in Greece.

Almost every Greek family has its own civil servant member. In a rather poor and risky economy like the Greek one, becoming a civil servant has been the best career option! Civil servants enjoy the famous "lifetime permanency" and their wages are twice or even thrice times higher than the ones of the people working freelance. And although there are so many civil servants in Greece the services offered by them to the citizens range from mediocre to awkward! Long queues are formed in front of the "functioning" windows (as many of them are closed, because the corresponding servants are on a vague duration's leave) and people are used to loose a couple of hours just to get a simple certification. The beauraucracy is really excessive and it often becomes hilarious. The number one "silent rule" among the servants is "don't work too much, because those who do are spoiling our "market"" (they develop among them a misconceived sense of solidarity).

Permeated by the above elements, civil servancy has become in Greece a sort of  "establishment". The very civil servants have "mutated" into creatures whose primary concern is not to serve the citizens but to feed the "establishment" (how Capricornian is that), drawing at the same time benefits for themselves (bribing is rampant).  And there is a "guilty client relationship" of the civil servants to the politicians, because the former have usually obtained their civil servant's privileged post by exploiting their political connections. In return though they have to vote for the politician who intermediated for them to get the post.

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