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Minimum Wages: Greeks to Earn Less Than €3 Per Hour

That’s a nice Valentine’s gift from the Greek state to employees of the private sector. With the publication of the new loan agreement in the Official Gazette in express procedures, employees in the private sector will see their wages decreasing by -22% as soon as possible. That is a monthly income loss of €165-228. For employees under 25 years old things will look much worse with a -32% and €240 less in their pockets. Until now the minimum wage was 751 EUR gross. The new horizontal reduction that will push labourers into a fast-track impoverishment, as the cost of living remains high.

The new minimum wages for work starters, whether with University degree or primary education, will be:

Group A) Unmarried, over 25 years old, will get 586 EUR (489 EUR net) for the first 3 years of work, and 750 EUR after 9 years. That is in 2021, the employee will earn as much as a new starter was earning until 1.1.2012.

Group B) Married , over 25 years old will get 644 EUR for the first, 3 years and 808 EUR after 9 years.

Group C) Employees until 25 years old will get 510 EUR (440 EUR net). The employer will be allowed to dismiss older and more expensive employees and hire cheap labour craft.

Unemployment allowance is expected to drop from 461 EUR down to 359 EUR. Unemployment allowance is given for the time period of 12 months, independently of how many years the jobless has worked.

Internship allowance for those until 23 years old will be reduced from 527 EUR down to 410 EUR.

The new Memorandum of Understanding has a provision to reduce further the minimum wages in July, so that Greece can be competitive to Portugal (566 EUR), [Then they will go to Portugal and say, you’re not competitive enough to Greece…]

The good scenario: Group A works 40 hours per week, 5 days per week: Employer earns 2.93 EUR per hour gross or 2.55 EUR net. Under the same work conditions, Group C earn 2.55 EUR gross or 2.20 EUR net.

I know people who have been offered 400 EUR per month, 8 hours per day, 5 days per week. No insurance.

The bad scenario: Group A and C work 40+ hours per week. Estimated earning per hour ….”priceless” lol

Whether somebody can cover basic needs with such salaries, it is up to Merkel, the IMF & Co to answer this question…

To compare: 1 Liter Gasoline = 1.70 EUR at least; 1 Liter Heating Oil = 1.10 EUR; 1 Cheese-pie (snack) = 1.50 EUR; 1 Souvlaki = 2.20 EUR.

minimum wages sources:,

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  1. With the next Financial”help” you would have to pay to go to work…

    Now the EU is on Denmarks neck. Wanting to lower saleries, pensions and what ever. People are furious and im laughing!!!

    • I cn very well imagine why you laugh. the EU wants really ‘austerity” for Denmark?

      • Yep.. And im laughing because so many Danes has been on Greece’s neck over the past months and now they can fell for themselfs what its like being under Germany’s boot!!!….

        Maybe this will make them “see the light”..

        • yes they will blame Greece lol

          • LOL yes. Very convenient for the EU.. Find a scapegoat, Greece, make sure the medias constantly writes that its Greece’s fault. And While thats going on, we can take more and more power over the other countries. People wont notice, because they are to busy to blame the Greeks!!..

  2. Guess Merkel, IMF & Co don’t even have a clue of the value of money. Read this article (use google translate); they have supper together for 300 euro per person (!!!). And we have to live of 400 euro a month!!! I’m thinking of taking Merkel to a supermarket, do my weekly shopping and let her guess what I have to pay.

    BTW: this article explains a lot and hopefully creates some more understanding in Europe why Greeks hit the streets and protest.

    • I bet she has not idea (anymore) how toothpaste in a tube look like lol

    • Sorry, this article has to many half-truths. So it explains very little. And that’s a dammed shame. There is enough to illustrate why there are more wrongs than only the Greek side. And when I hear one more time about that 90 y.o. neighbour of that Dutch journalist on Hydra (of all places, for gods sake!) and her 50 y.o. teacher, I swear I am going to scream. 👿

  3. Who actually works for minimum wage?
    In the USA, it is a very small percentage of the workforce.

    “Additionally, Texas has by far the largest number of employees working at or below the federal minimum wage ($7.25 per hour in 2010) compared to any state, according to a BLS report….about 9.5 percent of all workers paid by the hour in the state. Texas tied with Mississippi for the greatest percentage of minimum wage workers”

    • if I change my job from an office work to sell cheese at a super market I may get the minimum wage because I have no work experience in Gouda selling. In fact and in real life, nowadays the real minimum wages are lower than the official guidelines. 30 years ago, you could earn 10 DM (5 euro) in Germany for a cafe/restaurant job if you were a student. People get the same amount today in Greece. And no insurance.

    • That’s exactly the reason why they hide to the European public that the minimum wage is connected to all wages.
      They read: “minimum wage cut 22%”
      They don’t read: “all wages cut 22%”
      The same reason they talk of “welfare parasites” although there is no welfare in Greece!
      But who cares as the memorandum is also illegal because the lawmakers didn’t read it. One nice reason was may be because they hardly found any Greek to translate it!

  4. KTG, you write above two thing that are at the root of the whole problem here:

    I know people who have been offered 400 EUR per month, 8 hours per day, 5 days per week. No insurance.

    …the real minimum wages are lower than the official guidelines

    And this is not for some small shoddy job, but with big firms.
    People outside of Greece just don’t understand how it is possible that we live here in this totally ‘Wonderland’ where nothing, yes really NOTHING, is what it seems.
    The fact that the state nor the unions are able, prepared or willing to enforce the laws is the beginning of all our problems and the end of it. And of most who live here.

  5. “I know people who have been offered 400 EUR per month, 8 hours per day, 5 days per week. No insurance.”
    This is absurd.
    That is $3.16/hour USD.
    No one in the USA works for wages this low. No one.

    If you can only make €400/month, then you need to migrate to another country.
    If you speak English, you can make more than that in Mexico.

    • Dave, considering recession is in the fifth year and thus at -6.8% , unemployment at least 20%, people get also these 400-euro jobs in order to buy food.

  6. Hi I was just wondering the new laws on minimum wage is it for people that are currently employed as well in the private sector.Would they be loosing a 22% of their salary.

  7. Pete, I can assure you that a 400 euro wage is not as absurd as you might think!!
    I live in Southern Italy and where I work they pay for a 49hours+, 5-1/2 days a week job, about 700 euro with no insurance or pension stamps (which, by the way, are mandatory by law). And we are the lucky ones that still have a job! The company I work for in 2006 had more than 20 workers, now we are 4.
    Shall we go to work abroad? How can we find a job in another country with no contacts, move a whole family and find a place to live without any savings because they have been used up to eat and pay the rent so far?
    And we are better off than the Greek people, at the moment…

    • What’s amazing in KTG blog is to hear about the situation is other countries firsth hand. Thanks, Mary :))

  8. One thing everyone is forgetting about though is Power Purchasing Parity, and things are a lot cheaper in Greece than in most of Europe and the USA. So these comparisons people are making are completely baseless.