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Sudden Winter Outbreak in Greek Labor Market!

I have been complaining the whole day about the heat-wave in Athens. A heat that went even higher as Greece bet Nigeria in Mundial 2010.

But now, as we head towards evening, temperature drops. Not much, but enough to let me sit on a comfort chair and enjoy my plants and flowers on my fourth floor balcony. A friend will pass by later and we will chat on light issues like God and the World.  I think, but I am not that sure anymore… Then not reporting “ugly things” does not mean that “ugly things” don’t happen.

The ugly news of these days is the new laws about easing layoffs.

Easing layoffs in times of recession means a sudden winter outbreak in the Greek Labor Market. A sudden winter amid a summer heat-wave!

Under pressure by EU/IMF imposed austerity measures Greek Government decided to make it easier for large companies to lay off employees and workers, in order to make the labor market more flexible and economy more competitive as it is justified.

Flexibility, competitiveness and economic boasting are apparently possible through cutting labor costs and prices.

According to a Competivity Survey by International Institute of Management Development, Greece ranks 52 among 57 countries.


Dismissal threshold goes from 2% up to 5% per month.

That means companies with more than 150 workers will be allowed to fire 30 people per month.


Employers issuing 1 to 4 month dismissal notices will be allowed to pay  50% less compensation.


Minimum wages for newly hired will be trimmed from EUR 740 day down to

EUR 592 for 18-21 years old &

EUR 629 for 21-25 years old

Private Sector Union-GSEEE speaks of Casus Belli and threatens to appeal to European Court of Human Rights.

GSEE and Public Sector Union-ADEDY have called for a general strike on June 29.

The Real Current Situation today

I know people who have been fired with one-day or two-week notice.

I know newly hired (University Diploma), who work full time job of 10 h/day for EUR 400, no social security or other benefits.

I know people of 45+, who were ‘forced’ to get a job of EUR 800 after 25 years of working experience.

Recent months wage cuts in public sector, wage bonuses cuts in the private sector, tax and VAT hikes, shrinking of buying power and uncertainty about possible new austerity measures have forced the average Greek household to drastic cuts of private spending.  This dominoes to the closure of many small businesses and shops and the layoff of hundreds employees and workers.

According to official data unemployment hit 11,6% (April 2010) and inflation went up to 5,4% (May 2010).

As recession deepens Greeks do not dare even to peep what’s in their future.

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