Greece rushed to obey to its lenders dictates ahead the Eurogroup meeting on Thursday afternoon. Just a couple of hours earlier the Ministries of Finance and Labour had hastily signed an agreement that the unemployment benefit will undergo reductions of 22% as the minimum wages. Unemployed Greeks will receive (ridiculous) €359 per month. The agreement was signed as a ‘goodwill gesture’ to the Eurogroup, Greek media reported.
The new law will go into force on March 12, 2012. It will immediately affect 290,000 jobless men and women, who will see their unemployment benefits being reduced by one whole 100-euro bank note per month. Not all of the one million unemployed Greeks receive benefits as they are given by the Employment authority only for 12 months, regardless of the working years.
Yesterday, former unionist and current Labour Minister Giorgos Koutroumanis had created some false hopes to the unemployed implying that the jobless benefits would not suffer cuts.
PS I hear of pensions being cuts, of health care services being cut, of benefits being cut, but I hear of no reductions in the employees’ contributions to social insurance funds. Helloooooo? Anyone?