Greece’s labor minister Efi Achtsioglou might have shocked German journalists during a press conference in Berlin on Thursday.
She said that in times of bailout agreements, the minimum wage fell by 22% and by 32% for young workers under 25 years old.
“Greece is now a country with low minimum wage in relation to the rest of Europe and a highly deregulated labor market.”
As examples for the deregulated labor market, Achtsioglou said that
125,000 workers are paid less than €100 per month and
1,000,000 workers earn less than €1,000 a month.
She added that “reducing the minimum wage did not help to reintegrate the unemployed into the labor market, on the contrary: it increased unemployment rates, from 7% in 2009 to 27.9% in 2013, while the youth unemployment is at approximately 50% in 2016 “.
In a joint press conference with finance minister Euclid Tsakalotos, Achtsioglou tried to persuade the Germans of the IMF’s wrongdoings as the Fund refuses to discuss the restoration of collective bargaining arguing that collective bargains would jeopardize the competitiveness of the Greek economy.
Of course, there is no evidence that collective bargain would jeopardize the competitiveness as neither the minimum wage decrease from €780 to €580 gross helped.
In a country hit by austerity and recession for seven consecutive years, no liquidity but capital controls, over taxation and high social security contributions, constantly high unemployment and flexible labor contracts, and the mentality ” I don’t pay and I love to exploit workers” competitiveness sounds like a joke.
A journalist with several years working experience was saying the other day that she was offered a job on a website at €330 net, full-time job of 9 hours per day plus two weekends without extra payment or day off. To her complaint about the working conditions the answer of the employers was: “Take it or Leave it. There are hundreds waiting for this job.”
The rest is history – and technocrats who earn tax-free and claim to save the world and the indebted countries.
I personally am not at all shocked that people earn less than 100 euro per month. It’s the flexible working contracts: part-time in form of just a few hours per week at 1- 3 euro per hour. Whether this is official or not, it doesn’t matter. If the state would intervene to restore the law in the labor market, hundreds of people would not be able to pay their rent, the utility bills or some heating in winter time.
PS our lives have been deregulated, anyway.
But young Ms Minister does not live on 100 euros a month, but on a nice minister’s salary plus expense account. She will do everything her masters say to keep it this way. The rest is nice talk for those stupid enough to vote for her and her bunch again.