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IMF’s Thomsen: Minimum Wages in Greece 50% Higher than in Portugal

Am I confused or they just don’t know what they’re talking about? I am again impressed by the manipulated mathematics of the IMF &Co when it comes to minimum wages in Greece and the infamous competitiveness. During a hearing at the European Parliament, IMF’s man in Greece, Poul Thomsen claimed that minimum wages in Greece’s private sector are 50% higher than in Portugal.

“International Monetary Fund Deputy Director Poul Thomsen, in charge of the IMF’s programs for Greece, also stressed the importance of this issue, pointing out that minimum wages in Greece were about 50% higher than in Portugal and 25% higher than in Spain. “Realigning the minimum wage with the productive capacity of the economy is key,” Thomsen said. (Market News)

In Greece minimum wages dropped from 751 euro down to 586 EUR  gross as of March 1, 2012. In Portugal the minimum wage is 485 EUR (since 1.1.11) and in Spain 641 EUR (1.1.11). The updated  list of the Federation of European Employees is just one click away.

PS I assume, Thomsen needs crash courses in simple mathematics…

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11 comments

  1. Uh, he said “were” higher. Past tense. Before the March reduction, Greek min wages were more than 50% higher than Portugal according to the figures you cite. 17% higher than Spain.

    The issue is also more than the acutal minimum wage. Many wages in Greece are set using the minimum wage as a starting point. So the idea is not to penalize minimum wage earners but facilitate broader wage reductions across the economy. There’s no escaping the reality that Greek wages on average became completely delinked from productivity. That’s not sustainable and productivity gains in the near-term are more difficult than wage reductions. Again, that’s just the reality. Keep in mind that an exchange rate devaluation woudl have exactly the same effect — relative adjustment of nominal wages.

    • iaourti iaourtaki

      Exactly the “minimum wage” is just a propaganda trick as all wages are connected to it and because certain countries don’t have a minimum wage. Divide and Conquer just like they do with sacking thousands of poor women in Germoney right now and refuse 70 millions to keep them employed in a training for a year … like the unions women said: “There is money for rescue packages but they discriminate us women!”
      Douche bags like Rösler hope that the public opinion screams: “For Greece, yeah, but not for Schlecker!” and send killer troops like NSU.

      • I can’t stand that arrogant a**hole Rösler, but he has a point about that Schlecker bailout: WHY should those folks get a special treamtment, but all the other unemployed, not? Doesn’t make much sense.

  2. Well, Thomson said “were” so it’s obvious he referred to the old rates before the recent reform.
    “In Greece minimum wages dropped from 751 euro down to 586 EUR gross as of March 1, 2012. In Portugal the minimum wage is 485 EUR (since 1.1.11) and in Spain 641 EUR (1.1.11).”

    But, sry ktg, that is based on 14 (!) payment’s per year! In most other nations, the minimum wage only applies to 12 months, no extras. If you do recalculate the monethly earnings, (*14/12) you’ll find that Greece’s minimum wages actually were equal to about 870€/month:
    http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/statistics_explained/images/0/0f/Minimum_wage%2C_as_of_1_July_2011_%281%29_%28EUR_per_month%29.png

    Still, not “50% higher than in Portugal and 25% higher than in Spain”, of course, only about 30% and 10% or so (too lazy to do the math now). I guess Thomsen didn’t notice that Spain and Portugal have the same 14 monthly payments rule as Greece and thus miscalculated the difference.

    • keeptalkinggreece

      exactly Gr, Port, Spain minimum wages under same ocnditions. Most porbably Thomsen’s calculator run out of battery.

    • iaourti iaourtaki

      So you think Christmas, Eastern and summer holiday boni would be 13th and 14th payment? So how high are they?

      • Sure they are. Part of the yearly salary. Many folks here don’t get any of these extras.

        • iaourti iaourtaki

          And how much is money for Eastern? How much for summer? How much for Christmas aka New Year?

          Paid vacation and Christmas bonus is standard of normal working live, it’s not the fault of Greeks that the unions and workers failed to fight insecure conditions, get unions get kick out of Eastern Germany. It sounds like a tenant from West Germany for whom Berlin has low rents but in reality the rents are already high for Berliners.

  3. iaourti iaourtaki

    Next time they will claim that the number of children working in Greece is not high enough because it’s still lower than Portugal and Spain; South Italy is the most competitive of all: Mother with kids 200 Evro, kids 90% of never finish school, work on the streets and in bakeries only to make the rich richer and the Camorra fatter. But in the end it’s real competition as we all know that 1/3 of the “investments” north of the Alpes comes from Camorra and Ndragheta and without the money of the Mafia Europe’s economy would be collapsing:http://de.euronews.com/2010/12/12/wie-saehe-europa-ohne-das-geld-der-mafia-aus/

    • We should simply confiscate the Mafia money. No problem for the economy, then.

      • iaourti iaourtaki

        Like in Greece throwing all responsible people into prison won’t happen because the economy will collapse and prisons are overcrowded already.