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Hunger wages: One million Greek workers earn €250-€500 per month

Hunger wages: Almost one million Greeks earn €200 to €500 per month in the country’s private sector, the annual report on Greece’s Employment and Economy of private sector union umbrella GSEE Labor Institute revealed on Wednesday.

According to the report, 571,000 Greeks, about 1/5 of workers in the private sector, are paid with less than 500 euros, while 251,000 employees are paid with less than 250 euros.

Comparing wages for private sector employees in the years 2010 -when the crisis started- with 2018, the report states that employees lost 28% of their wages.

In 2010, the average monthly average earnings amounted to € 1,247 while in 2018 they had fallen to € 898, thus indicating that wage reductions of that 8 years exceeded 28% according to its report GSEE.

From 2010 to the end of 2018, the number of those paid by up to 250 euros (64,000 in 2010, 190,927 in 2015 and 251,020 in 2018) has almost quadrupled, while the number of those receiving 500-600 euros has grown threefold.

In 2010, the average full-time earnings in full-time employment were € 1,394 and in 2018 it was

€ 1,111, while in part-time employment wages were €562 in 2010 and € 375 in 2018.

A part-time worker was paid in less than half in hourly work in relation to a full-time worker in 2018.

Looking at the remuneration of private sector workers in 2018 on the basis of EMF data, the GSEE report states that out of a total of 2,396,602 employees, the average annual earnings amount to 898.59 euros.

29% of the employees in the private sector -696.825 persons- workers had part-time employment with an average salary of 375.53 euro, while 71% -1.702.675 workers – had a full-time work contract with an average salary of 1,111.09 euro.

The cost for each work dismissal to the unemployed is 8,126 euros, which corresponds to 50% of the average net income from work.

As a result, an unemployed person in Greece during the first year of unemployment receives a proportionally reduced income of 33% compared to what he would receive on average in another OECD country.

The report also states that despite the relative balancing of the fiscal policy mix, the country’s fiscal adjustment was based on the increase in tax revenues in 2018.

The Indirect – Direct Tax ratio, albeit reduced compared to 2017, was at the General Government level at a height of 1.68.

From 2014 onwards, indicators of poverty and economic inequality are improving. For example, the Poverty and Social Exclusion Index shows a steady decline of three consecutive from 36% in 2014 to 34.8% in 2017. However, the position of women and migrants is not improving.

According to the GSEE report:

-In the year 2018 the social benefits were reduced by € 130 million. Compared to 2009, social benefits have fallen by 21.7%.

– Austerity and overpowering policies have heavily burdened households’ adjusted gross disposable income, which declined by 33.7% in 2009-2017, disrupting the macroeconomic and financial cohesion of the economy.

– The financial position of households is particularly fragile due to negative new savings and low income levels in relation to their debt obligations. Given the dependence of the dynamics of the economy on domestic consumption, the financial situation of households limits the expectations of growth dynamics of the economy.

– Empirical assessments confirm the firm position of INE GSEE that the PDO policies pursued did not trigger structural and technological transformations that would contribute to the substantial upgrading of the domestic production model. On the contrary, wage compression and the deregulation of the labor market favored the development of low-tech activities.

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2 comments

  1. After reading this article only a complete idiot could afirm that it has been worth it for Greece to have stayed with the euro.

  2. As the economist Wynne Godley in 1992 warned https://www.lrb.co.uk/v14/n19/wynne-godley/maastricht-and-all-that

    “What happens if a whole country – a potential ‘region’ in a fully integrated community – suffers a structural setback? So long as it is a sovereign state, it can devalue its currency….. With an economic and monetary union, this recourse is obviously barred, and its prospect is grave indeed unless federal budgeting arrangements are made which fulfil a redistributive role.

    If a country or region has no power to devalue, AND if it is not the beneficiary of a system of fiscal equalisation, then there is nothing to stop it suffering a process of cumulative and terminal decline leading, in the end, to emigration as the only alternative to poverty or starvation.”

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