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Multinationals blackmail Greece: Part-timers on €250-300 monthly salary

Turning Greek labour forces into “Chinese workers” without rights and an as-minimum-as-possible wage  seems to be the dream not only of the International Monetary Fund, the Troika and Germany but also that of multinational companies. Allegedly in the name of holy competitiveness, multinationals want to trade “peanuts” for “salary” in order to invest in Greece: monthly salaries of 250-300 euro and thus for part time work only. And, of course, changes in labor law in order to avoid paying compensation.

This shocking offer was revealed during a meeting of Development Minister Kostis Chatzidakis with representatives of eleven multinational companies, among them Barilla, Bic Violex and Nestle. 

According to Sunday edition of To Vima, in the eyes of multinational companies managers, further lowering of wages is the precondition for boosting competitiveness.

“We would further invest, if Greece were more friendly to investment,” said the 11 managers in one voice, asking limitation of bureaucracy, reduction in energy cost and simplification of procedures for production activities.

However, the managers took the Greek government by surprise, when they posed the issue of further lowering the wages, especially for jobless youth.

“We don’t understand, why there must be a cap for the minimum wage in a country where youth unemployment has reached unbelievable levels. Give us the chance to hire young labor forces with less money. They will work less hours and less days per week,” Giorgos Spilopoulos, CEO of Barilla Hellas suggested.

“I am not in charge. I will pass it through» Development minister Kostis Chatzidakis answered, implying that he would forward the request to Labor Minister.

“Exactly what wages levels you are talking about?” a ministry official asked.

“We could give 250-300 euro for part-time work, three or four days per week,” eight out of the evelen managers proposed in the long discussion led by the managers of Barilla, Bic Violex aand Nestle.

Representative of Nestle, Raymond Franke, put also another issue on the labor conditions table: “The time to inform an employee about his lay-off has to be reduced as well,”  said  Franke [to avoid paying compensation to fired employees].

“The government believes, minimum wages cannot be further lowered,” Chatzidakis reminded them.

However, the multinationals’ representatives proved determined to continue the pressure.

“The Greek market is dying.  the money you promised to give to the real market, did not reach it. We too have to be competitive to the costs in the East. It’s an idea that you have to consider, to that the unemployment rate drops and thus among the youth.  Especially now when we hear even more often ” I want a job, for whatever salary.” (full article To Vima)

According to latest data, unemployment in Greece reach 27% in November 2012, with the youth being unemployed at 60.1%.

After immense Troika pressure, the minimum wage was lowered in February 2012 down to 586 euro gross per month (510 euro/month for youth below 25 years old.)

To tell you the truth, I do not quite understand the revolutionary aspect of the managers’ proposal. Paying part-timers €250 is like paying full-timers €500. Of course, part-timers have less rights, no vacation, no bonuses and much lower compensation when fired.

 I wonder why these genius manages do not invest in Bulgaria where the minimum wage is some 150 euro per month… But they love Greece, don’t they?


Barilla HELLAs dismissed the report claims that it agreed on lowering the minimum wage. Barilla said it was totally against lowering the minimum wage and what the company CEO allegedly said it was not true.

Also Bic Violex said that it did not support further lowering of minimum wage.

Apparently more companies dismiss the report as there are society calls to boycott the products of the 11 multinationals.

PS I will sacrifice myself with pleasure to see multinational companies getting competitive with their rivals producing in Eastern Europe and Asia and earn a lot of money. If only Nestle would drop the liter-milk down to 0.30 euro, Nesquick down to 1 euro and their cereals would not cost 50% more in Greece than in other EU countries. I would also love to see Barilla swimm in euro banknotes, if only their  pasta would cost no more than 25 cents 🙂

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  1. I really do not like doing this, but here you go. Told you so, in another comment. And immediately got accused of being anti-job…

    It really is high time to arrest all these clowns, put them with the delightful company of an ex Greek minister of defense, and lose the key. Then start the whole show from scratch. If we don’t, this is only going to get worse, becasue these guys will know they can always hold out for more to feed their ever increasing greed…

  2. Hello from Italy Keep talking greece
    Someone in Vima site comments that this maybe “partially” a fake news. Have you verified it ?

    • keeptalkinggreece

      thanks for drawing this to our attention. who is this ‘somedy who comments”?
      so many details (companies/managers names) all set up? furthermore, that’s what actually goes on in real job market since a couple of months, if not a year – under tha table so to say. What the managers want is to make per state law.

  3. Hi guys , obviously i have tranlated them…i don’t know greece language 🙂

    Two original posts:
    Εφόσον όπως πολύ σωστά είπε και κάποιος σχολιαστής παραπάνω τεθούν από τη νομοθεσία κάποιοι περιορισμοί, όπως κάνουν σε άλλες χώρες δεκαετίες τώρα, που υπάρχει πρόβλημα; Γιατί δημιουργείτε εντάσεις και στοχοποιείτε μάλιστα και ανθρώπους σε τέτοιες επικίνδυνες ιστορικές περιόδους;
    by alienellin

    Είδικα στο κομμάτι που γνωρίζω εκ των έσω , την Bic Violex
    Οι εργαζόμενοι αμοίβονται πολύ καλά(εργαζόμενος στην παραγωγή Σάββατο
    By Ankas

    • keeptalkinggreece

      maxine, if we double check every ocmment on each article we read we will never manage to write 2 sentances per day.

      • You’re right and I apologize. I only wish trying to give as much as possible real information about what’s happening in Europe and often, especially in Italy, the “alarming” information are on the agenda of disinformation. I would never question your work; indeed, you are my reference point for your country.

        We want to fight these corporations and less “errors” do better.
        Considers that the automatic translator will not let me go beyond 20/30 comments so I could not read them all and not knowing greek language, it’s hard to identify “trolls” and “debunkers” in comments.

        Sorry for misunderstanding and thanks for your job.

        • keeptalkinggreece

          you shouldn’t do it because automatic translation may contain grave mistakes (i.e. google translate most often does not recognize the ‘negative form’, i.e. ,I don’t, becomes ,I do,

  4. PS.
    We are very worried about greece people, and for this reason who can would to stay informed about you. If this news is true it needs a big stonewalling of their products (Henkel, Unilever, Nestlè, Bic have a large business here in Italy).
    Those people are hyenas.
    Are you looking for what’s happens in Italy ?

    • keeptalkinggreece

      as I said: Greeks earn 500 for full time work anyway.

    • @ Maxime, irrespective of what these vultures do the Greece, Italy, Spain and anywhere else, they do indeed need boycotting everyewhere, for what they are, not just for what they do. They are the problem. And by no means any part of the solution. Only bigger problems…

      • You are able to do this?
        A few days ago I was at a business meeting with the multinational Reckitt Benkiser (specialized in household cleaners, such as Henkel and Unilever) and they told me that since three months they are not selling anything. They told me that people are buying unbranded cleaning products in hard discounts at 70% lower prices.

        • keeptalkinggreece

          what they forgot tell you for example is that since last Aug/Sept they cancelled the 70-measures washing machine powder box and produce only 60 msrs. at the beginning they dropped very slightly the price (1 euro maybe) and since 2-3 months they skyrocketed it. I used to buy 70-msrs brandname for 11.99 or 12.99. Now the new box (60 msrs) it is sold 14.99 and it is in special discount – apparently lol

        • And where do you think these “discount” products come from? They just don’t come in the fancy packaging with the extortionate price tag for the “brand” attached to it…
          They are selling alright, more than you and I can imagine. They are still amking their required profit on the “discount” product, maybe not the premium profit on the “branded” product. But then, that will be made up for in different ways. One of the ways they make up for this is through creating mass unemployement and then re-hiring at sweatshop wages…

  5. giaoýrti giaoyrtáki

    For mini-jobs in other countries companies don’t have to pay their half of the income tax and normally these jobs only “function” because they are supported through welfare. So if that should work in Greece the state must pay allowance, rents, healthcare, aso. It’s possible that these greedy douchebags have no idea about the Greek welfare system or that they speculate on people who don’t have to pay rent.

  6. FYI

    Last year they closed down almost 380 million businesses, over a thousand a day. As reported recently by CGIA of Mestre (Small Medium Business Sindacation), at least one in two, small and medium-sized enterprises remained, pay in installments its employees, or go into debt to do so. They are also accumulating tax liabilities growing, or resort to external credit to sustain the tax burden. The tax burden for companies is 75% or more. While the level in relation to GDP has exceeded the threshold of 44%.

    Since the crisis, the credit instruments (bank or postal, bills and drafts etc.. Etc..) That at the end they found coverage grew by almost 13%.

    Also according to the Association of Mestre tells us, the non-performing loans in the hands of companies have increased by 165%.

    About banks, we have the oldest bank in the world, the Monte Paschi, that is bankrupt and in the last four years it took two government intervention to revive and prolong the agony: the first with the Tremonti Bonds, the second Monti with Bond. Total cost of operation, more than 4 billion euro, equal to the entire revenue IMU (household tax) on the first house. It would be interesting to investigate thoroughly on other banking groups, in order to understand the exact state of solvency and the use that was made of the mountain of derivatives that are in the stomach. They are also used to embellish the accounts? We do not know, but if it is true that think evil is a sin, it is also true that sometimes guesses.

    A few days ago, it emerged that the financial statements of INPS (state pensions) is a hole of more than € 10 billion, and the same entity, based on the 2011 data, lets you know that in Italy the pension benefits less than 1000 euro, are 77% of the total, and more than 2.4 million pensioners, however, receive a check for less than 500 Euros per month. Sums which, given the paucity and the rising cost of living, condemn earners to live in conditions of increasing poverty and obvious difficulties, especially in old age.

    I touch the three million unemployed. The unemployment rate is around 12%, while youth unemployment is close to 40%, with peaks close to 50% in the south. Just outside the perimeter of the data set, there is a considerable number of laid off pursuant to companies who will never have the chance to recover from this crisis, and will soon become unemployed in permanent projecting the unemployment rate well over 15%.

    A demonstration of what has been said about the growing state of poverty, just a few days ago, the site Zerohedge, has released an analysis according to which the at-risk-of-poverty Italian exceeded that of Spain. Not only that, but in another analysis diffused from the same site, it appears that the youth unemployment rate has exceeded that of Portugal, reaching over 38%, a level similar to that of Greece just two years ago.

    In the last year, despite the pressing of charges made by the Government Monti with the joint support of the Democratic Party and the PDL, the national debt has increased by over 80 billion euro, overcoming the barrier of 2000 billion to almost 128% of GDP . Now you are traveling quickly towards the Greek parameters.

    During the same period, GDP fell by 2.4%, and if we extend the horizon to five years earlier, would observe that the national growth shrank by more than 7% since the beginning of the crisis.

    Industrial production has fallen to levels not seen for decades, as well as consumption fell fallen below the levels of 2001. A considerable number of families that can confirm to make ends meet only eroding the savings accumulated in a lifetime, or by past generations.

    An increasing number of significant regions and municipalities are in financial difficulties and increasingly close to bankruptcy.

    The state government should businesses about € 70 billion, which add up to an additional 70 billion that they have to pay local self, reaching hyperbole figure of 140 billion. These amounts do not fall within the scope of the public debt and, if so ‘case, the debt / GDP ratio will splash over 140%, assuming that there are investors willing to buy the debt in order to pay the debts of Pa.

    Italian companies in the past six years, ie since the beginning of the crisis, have lost more than 500 billion euro turnover. Chancellor Angela Merkel, no later than a few weeks ago, said that in all likelihood, the current crisis will continue for 5 years almenoaltro. And so we come to eleven years of crisis. We are told that we have to work more than 40 years, and there may also be. But in these conditions means spending more than a quarter of working life and professional in deep crisis. It is not impossible that what will later not be more frequent or less deep than at present.

    The risk is to cope with economic recession for most of the professional career. This is simply impossible.

    We pay about ninety billion a year in interest on public debt, which feeds itself and grows by inertia. This, in its current connotation, and in such an environment, it is simply priceless.

    We all’ingovernabilità total and, in all likelihood, it will still take several months before you can have an executive capable of governing. As can be qualified, that a new government can reverse this trend, it is only a wishful thinking that can lodge in the minds dangerously shy away from reality. The process is unstoppable, and will tend to accelerate with the passage of time. If all this were not enough, you could go on for hours. But the result would not change at all.

    Now the point of no return has been passed long ago. Italy has failed to make of reason. If you believe it to wait for confirmation from the political world, you can be sure that will be announced only after you have removed everything, even hope.

    You are trying to maintain the apparent solvency of the state and the banking system, making it insolvent a monstrously growing number of businesses and households. This is just a massacre of the devastation that threatens to bring down all that remains of the national production system, compromising or making it harder for any possibility of ascent.

    And ‘essential to have a plan B to assure us, possibly, an escape route and exit from the constraints imposed by this gas chamber called eurozone. You must declare the default and announce debt restructuring by cutting off the principal, the interest and reprogramming the deadlines towards a more sustainable path.

    This event, however traumatic it may be, in the common interest of all, if concerted with supranational institutions and creditors, will limit the devastating effects of uncontrolled default that not long in coming. Prevent the destruction of the productive and entrepreneurial, or permanently in the service of the debt and a bureaucratic / administrative worthy of the worst Soviet Union until his death. The alternative to this will be social unrest, riots, disappearance of much of the manufacturing base, sale of entire industries, loss of acquired rights, compression of the welfare state, widespread poverty and bankruptcy. I mean the real one, the one imposed by the rules of the wild market.