A German civil servant has admitted that he "did nothing for 14 years" in a retirement email sent to colleagues.
The 65-year-old sent the farewell message on his retirement day after learning that his job was disappearing due to cuts.
In the email to 500 other civil servants in Menden, North Rhine-Westphalia, he boasted that he had earned pounds 613,000 (euros 745,000) for doing no work. "Since 1998, I was present but not really there. So I'm going to be well-prepared for retirement - Adieu," he wrote in the email which was leaked to the Westfalen-Post newspaper.
The admission is embarrassing for Germany because it leading calls for austerity cuts to the public sector in eurozone countries such as Greece and Spain.
The unnamed man, who has worked in a municipal state surveyor's office since 1974, accused the authorities of creating inefficient, overlapping and parallel structures, even employing another surveying engineer to do the same job, leaving him with nothing to do. "Of course, I well benefited from the freedom that came by to me," he wrote.
He also accused the Menden city authorities of buying unusable computers and software, but has since refused to publicly detail his allegations. "I do not wish to say anything else. That email was not intended for public view," he said.
Volker Fleige, the mayor of Menden, said that he had felt a "good dose of rage" when he saw the email, as the employee had not once complained about not having enough to do during his 38 years of employment. "This kind of behaviour is very worrying," he said.
Fleige said that there would be no sanctions against the former civil servant and that following budget cuts his job would not be filled.