The guess is around 700.000. It could be less but probably more. How many companies in the world do not know how many employees they have? If they are private - I think the number is very low.
I do wonder though. Who makes sure everybody gets a salary and pension? Could anybody claim until now they are a public employee? Can it be claimed more than once? If you are unemployed - give it a go.
Ah yes, how will the mystery be solved? By force. If public entities by the 15th of January have not declared how many employees they have - they may be penalized by having their budget cut down. Hat tip: Diário de Noticías.
They may... And what would keep them from lying?
I suggest the following instead. A central register of every employee in the country. Give public employees one month to sign up. Otherwise no salary - no pension. And one central function for paying aforesaid salaries and pensions. In principle we would learn the real number of public employees and the expenses associated.
Perhaps this way people with money would not demand 15% interest for lending money to Portugal by buying government bonds. Perhaps they would conclude that a country that keeps track of small things like numbers of public servants and public expenditure could be taken seriously?