In a new burst of toxic arrogance, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis attacked unemployed citizens calling them “professional jobless” claiming that “jobless do not find jobs because they lack the appropriate basic qualifications and skills.” Speaking at the Parliament to defend the new bill “Jobs Again” the PM blamed the unemployed for being out of work, and not the low wages and the miserable labor conditions.
“Thousands are out of work not because of starvation wages, but because they do not have the appropriate qualifications,” Mitsotakis said.
“At the end of 2021, more than half of those registered with OAED had not found a job for more than a year. We are talking about almost 600,000 of our fellow citizens with 1/3 being declared unemployed for more than 5 years while 50,000 are, according to their declaration in this situation, for more than a decade. And yet at the same time that we have a structural problem of long-term unemployment this unemployment coexists with job vacancies,” the PM said.
One of the main targets of the bill is apparently to erase thousands of jobless from the country’s official registry at the Employment Agency OAED so that they won’t receive state support, Mitsotakis claimed further, naming “those who live in luxury and those who refuse to accept an offered work place.”
Among the new criteria for jobless to retain their unemployment card is reportedly that “any jobless person with a family income of over 20,000 euros per year will be ejected from the register of the unemployed.”
He said that unemployment benefits create a “paralytic situation” and spoke of “real” and “fake” unemployed. The lack of training of the unemployed and the “paralytic situation” created by unemployment benefits are responsible for the level of unemployment in Greece, he added.
He argued that there are “several jobs that could be covered if the unemployed had skills”. He even noted that “7 out of 10 employers tell us that they have a problem of meeting labor needs, while at the same time that the country has an unemployment rate of 12.8%.” Funds of OAED given as unemployment benefits should be directed to training, he stressed.
“The bill on boosting employment is an attempt to refocus on linking the needs of businesses with specialized services offers, and upgrade skills in order to distinguish between those who really need state support and those who need to improve their skill sets.”
The PM said further that the government should move “not by subsidizing the maintenance of unemployment but by subsidizing the education of the unemployed”. So he said “every unemployed person will formulate his own digital action plan” and “he will be rewarded with 300 euros and this support will continue even after he finds a job.”
He tried to present the government’s policy as successful, saying that Greece records the “lowest de-escalation of unemployment in Europe” since unemployment dropped from 17.2% to 12.8%. However, he later admitted that Greece has the second worst position in the European Union since “only Spain surpasses us”.
He also referred to the “age-old problem of low wages” calling it “a natural phenomenon” and announced for one more time that there will be a second increase in the minimum wage after May 1st.
Jobless real world vs PM’s reality
The Prime Minister who clearly lives in another country is obviously unaware that the only state support long-time unemployed receive is a free pass for public transport means. He seems also to be unaware that the social contributions employees and employers pay each month include a share for future unemployment allowance.
No matter how many employment years, unemployed receive an allowance of 300-400 euros for only one year and then they have to look after them in the best way they can.
One more benefit they receive is that they get a little extra “bonus” every few years if the government – any government – decides to implement some kind of “social policy” for jobless, low-pensioners and people with disabilities.
Mitsotakis’ statement was perceived as a big insult to the jobless and triggered an outrage on social media and the very few opposition media.
Many Greeks commented that he “would not be PM hadn’t be the offspring of the specific political family”, others ironically wrote that he cannot tie his shoelaces without help.
The most striking counter-argument on Twitter was:
“Millennials and Gen Z don’t have a problem of lack of skills – in contrast they are the most (over)educated and (over)qualified generations in the history of the country. therefore the problem is not the absence of certificates and degrees. The problem is the lack of jobs worthy of our skills, with salaries commensurate with our qualifications.”
Οι millennials και οι Gen Z δεν έχουν πρόβλημα έλλειψης δεξιοτήτων – είναι οι πλέον (επι)μορφωμένες και (over)qualified γενιές στην ιστορία της χώρας.
Δεν λείπουν certificates & πτυχία λοιπόν. Λείπουν δουλειές αντάξιες των δεξιοτήτων μας, με αμοιβές ανάλογες των προσόντων μας.
— Anergø Teacher (@AnergoTeacher) April 14, 2022
Another one noted: Isn’t there a bigger qualification than someone lives on 400 euros per month, working for 12 hours per day?”
Ο Μητσοτάκης λέει ότι δεν βρίσκουν δουλειά οι άνεργοι γιατί δεν έχουν τις κατάλληλες δεξιότητες.
Υπάρχει μεγαλύτερη δεξιότητα από το να ζει άνθρωπος με 4 κατοστάρικα το μήνα δουλεύοντας 12ωρα;#μητσοτακη_παραιτησου
— GeorgiosVrynas (@GVrynas) April 14, 2022
Some even recalled the Epic Flop with the governmental e-learning training program “Skoil Elikikou.” exactly two years ago.
hahaha this guy would be comedy gold if he were in stand-up instead of politics!
i worked abroad in IT for over 20 years. six digit salaries the whole time. Nostalgia brought me back to greece. in-country the salaries offered are a pathetic joke and most employers, even if they say theyre ok with remote work, want to see you in an office in the athens area often enough that living in our native village is not compatible with that. I could easily find remote work from abroad, which still pays pretty well. high five digits for sure. However, the moment i need to set aside 25% of gross for VAT, and then pay another 26% of whats left for TEBE/EFKA plus roughly 40% for income tax, i’m giving roughly 3/4 of it right over to uncle kouli there. that is so insulting that i’ll rather live off of savings for a while and then leave again abroad, maybe for good this time. not to mention that instead of being glad that i came back and spent a fortune of money earned abroad into the local economy, i get treated like a suspect having to constantly prove my innocence, is another insult on top of that.
oops, 24% for vat not 25%… big difference i know, but a typo 🙂
1) You don’t chargel VAT for invoices sent to emplyers outside the EU. (maybe not other EU countries either, I don’t know). 2) start a company, so you only pay 22% tax. No need to pay 40%! OR start a US co, if you can, and since the employer is American, don’t pay Greek health/ins, pay into US SS (see tax treaty). Talk to an accountant. Many options!
“In a new burst of toxic arrogance, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis attacked unemployed citizens calling them “professional jobless” claiming that “jobless do not find jobs because they lack the appropriate basic qualifications and skills.” Speaking at the Parliament to defend the new bill “Jobs Again” the PM blamed the unemployed for being out of work, and not the low wages and the miserable labor conditions.”
He certainly is a toxic creature. Perhaps this is related to his early life and confusion about who was his biological mother?
From my experience, certainly in the UK at least and due to generous payments, there is/has been X percent who could be classified as “professionally jobless” but hey, in my 30 years living here, Kryiakos’s assertion is beyond utter nonsense.
The KS Fourth Industrial Revolution is closer and closer than we might have imagined. Puppet KM is, well, being a puppet.
Most Greeks aspire for thier children to be super educated , but in which subjects, Greece is rapidly becoming a nation with more architects than construction workers , it does not work .further more most newly graduated architects are serving coffee at Costa coffee, while Albanian construction workers earn over a hundred euros a day and they do that with ease.
Greece needs to take a hard look at its self and its current labour requirements, the agricultural sector is full of foreign labour compressing wages while the gang masters and farmer drive 40000 euro trucks, mean while the youth of the country do nothing apart from dream about leaving whilst hugging thier newly acquired degree in media studies.
right. except that foreign workers in construction + farming work for a bag of daily peanuts, are seasonal workers – meaning temporary-, and are bound to some contractor.hire-& rent labor companies, questionable labor rights (insurance, pension stamps, working hours etc.
Is this the labor world you want for your children?
A job is a job my friend, once you hear your youth say ,,”I’m to good for that” you are on the slippery slop “.
Most serious economies build their way out of recession, first thing you see on the road to recovery is scaffolding, Greece no longer makes provision or provides training to place people on that scaffold, because the youth are continually told they are to clever for that,but selling coffee no problem , constructive criticism is hard to listen to , Greece is not Dubai, time to do some hard work 💪.
He’s a sick creature.
And I am crying that this CAN happen – however please try to recall that “we” actually are the “many” – please don’t lay back in some complacent stupor.
There may be openings in the fields of Psychology and Psychiatry in the near future. Anybody, unsure of their career choices may consider these interesting options. I don’t know whether they have lifelong learning here (like the Open University) for the older unemployed but this option may be fruitful. Maybe the youngsters should consider this also. Very interesting, and just as anecdote the young Greeks I see here are very well educated and i am sure that many of them could make a great career in this profession.
Unlike those who have political connections. They will always have a job. No skills required!
Anyway, if it is even true, perhaps that says something about the Greek educational system which no doubt was cut on.
What an absolute tool.
Maybe if his Government made it easier to be self-employed in this country, then some of those jobless would have taken the initiative and started working for themselves.
Probably some of them ARE already working for themselves but because the income tax rates are so high, they do it cash-in-hand and don’t declare it.
Maybe try providing the first €10,000 of earnings at a 0% rate (without the obligation to spend on credit/debit to receive it) and see how many more people suddenly have jobs.
Could also reduce VAT to something like 15% to help increase consumer spending (and therefore jobs to fill that increase too)
You know, common sense approach once you’ve seen how a few other countries do things