The 30 “ghost” bureaucrats had been paid their annual salaries since 1989, despite no longer serving their actual jobs. The state continued to pay €1 million (£897,000) annually, even though one of the civil servants ran a restaurant, as opposed to working in council offices. The findings were revealed in an official report by the Provence-Alps-Riviera Regional Audit Office, who also disclosed that the 30 bureaucrats also benefited from automatic promotions and pay increases based on seniority or length of service.
The report said local authorities had failed to find the civil servants new posts after their original jobs were scrapped when water services were privatised in the southern city of Toulon.
The 30 employees were then kept on the payroll, due to a law that obliges councils to carry on paying staff even if a reorganisation in working arrangements makes them redundant.
The audit office report said: “It is regrettable, to say the least, that the city was not capable of finding new jobs for some of these employees, especially the youngest.”
One of the civil servants, a former rugby star who played for Toulon, ran a restaurant while still being paid his taxpayer-funded wage.
French taxpayers have spent more than £22mil on 30 'ghost' civil servants (Image: Getty)
He was summoned on at least one occasion to explain his business because it appeared