Despite record numbers leaving in 2010, requests for the hiring of new staff in the broader public sector have remained "reasonable" at just 16,000, the interior ministry said on Tuesday. The number of requests is viewed by the ministry as 'manageable' and one that will not block the hiring system.

Based on the 5:1 ratio of departures to new hirings, the departure of 53,335 public-sector staff in 2010 allows the ministry to make 10,600 new appointments in 2011. Of these, only about 7,000 will be new hirings, with the rest of the positions filled through transfers from the broader public sector - including some 2,800 transfers from the Greek Railways (OSE) and the Athens public transport organisation OASA.

The greatest number of requests for new staff, almost 13,000 in total, were submitted by the health, education and citizens' protection ministries.