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Greek Employees Work But Get No Payment

This signature that was put on several government papers on Monday confirmed just one thing: A Greek reality that more and more employees – whether in the private or even in the public sector – have been experiencing since last summer: That people work but do not receive their salaries. At least, not in time. At least not in full size.

The news item from Monday was reading:

“Interior Minister Evripidis Stylianides signed and approved the expenditure for part-time personnel working in special operational fields or do social services.

The personnel was not paid since the beginning of the year.

Among others, Stylianidis approved 1,270 million euro for the payment of school traffic ‘police’ for the period January-March 2012.”

Of course, the situation in the private sector is much more dramatic.

According to official data (March 2012) from the Labour Ministry and the Labour Inspectors body (SEPE) 400,000 employees in the private sector work but remain without salary in an average from one up to five months.

Unofficially the situation is even worse: a friend of mine receives 150 euro per month instead of 900. This has been going on almost a year, since August 2011. Salary is beiing paid in “installments” with the promice to receive the whole outstanding amount … one day. She and her collegues hope that the clothing store will not go bankrupt before they get their several thousands euro. My friend manages to make ends meet with the financial help of her sisters.

Another friend has not been paid since last September. And another… and another…


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  1. Has anybody any idea how many people are involved in “personnel working in special operational fields or doing social services”?

    I would assume that these people are of course not included in the unemployment figures, and neither are those unpaid workers in the private sector. If so, what is the real unemployment figure?

    The stories about people getting paid in “installments” is not a Greek phenominon. It happens all over the place, and is in reality most likely an employer simply pocketing the money, pretending not to be able to.

    At present, there is furore about such an “employer” in Ireland. The guy simple withheld social security payments, VAT, etc, but at the same time doubled his own pay. He is also a sitting MP and refuses to resign. He cannot be made do so, and NOT ONE other MP has made any demand in that direction.

    As long as this kind of attitude is tolerated, things will only get worse. Far worse…

    • keeptalkinggreece

      this is part-time personnel with temporary contracts.
      We always think of official numbers adding 2, 3+ percentage units, whether unemployment or inflation. not only in Greece, real life and real people are a different reality than statistics figures.
      What? he is an MP?

    • I do not know if they are included in the above statistic, but all the university teachers without tenure are paid a year late now.

      Of course, none of the people working but who are unpaid are included in the unemployment data. The phenomenon should be included in the labour force survey but of course is not and never will be. Making a tiny change to the LFS used to take about 10 years of arguing when there were only 15 countries; now with 28 countries, it is impossible to get agreement on anything at all. The brain-damaged politicians of Europe have constructed a bureaucratic nightmsre that makes even the Greek state look efficient in comparison…

      • What’s happening is the Greek government misusing the employees (and some other groups, like the pharmacists, too) as involuntary creditors. Would be good to see a calculation that sums up how much money the state owes to these people. I suspect it’s a very high amount, and that this is the way how the government gets through the periods when the Troika (rightly, imho) delays payments. So, imho this is a deliberate policy to avoid bankruptcy. And of course this is hidden unemployment, but since such shenanigans are rather untypical for developed countries, I don’t know if this should be included in the statistics. It would be damn difficult to produce any realistic numbers when the (ir)responsible government does all it can to hide the facts, anyway.

        • The statistical frauds of northern Europe are rather more sophisticated, and at least as difficult to unravel. I doubt that the Greek state actually commits more fakery: it just does them less well.

          • Do you want to pretend that any Northern European government similarily “delays” payments to employees and contractors, Xenos? There aren’t even rumours of that. But I guess, to your conspiracy minded brain this only proves that Germans and their allies are better at hiding the truth!

          • I told you that statistical data are rigged. Do not misrepresent what I said. And I do know that the statistical data of Germany are poor, especially as regards population and employment stats. These have worsened over the last decade.

            Of course, someone with your conformist approach to life will find that difficult to believe. Just as you seem to find all facts hard to swallow. far easier to trust the propaganda, eh?

  2. As opposed to the many civil servants that don’t go to work and DO get paid!!! Hehe, what a paradox of a country Greece is!! Geia sou Elladitsa mou!!