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Greece Lifts Minimum Wage by €50 to €830 Per Month

Greece minimum wage
PM Mitsotakis announced the increase in the minimum wage at a cabinet meeting on Friday. Credit: AMNA

Greece’s Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced an increase of €50 ($53.9) a month to the country’s minimum wage for employees, lifting the amount to €830 from €780.

The decision will take effect from April 1st and relieve workers “without affecting the strength of the economy and the competitiveness of businesses,” Mitsotakis said Friday at a meeting of his cabinet in Athens.

The new basic wage is accompanied by raises in 18 other benefits, Mitsotakis said. The wage hike affects approximately 600,000 workers. Similarly, employees with corresponding seniority entitled to an increase every three years will also receive a comparable raise.

Minimum wage in Greece “to reach €950 by 2027”

The Greek premier repeated the goal his government has set for 2027 which will mark the end of his second term in office. He said: “By 2027 the average salary in our country will be €1,500 and the minimum wage €950.”

The increase -he stressed- supports the income of families, but does not burden production costs so much.

“Despite the challenges, we remain committed to improving the quality of everyday life,” Mitsotakis said, highlighting efforts to mitigate price hikes.

The government is under pressure to do more to alleviate the cost of living crisis due to the price hikes.

In the latest Metron Analysis poll for Mega TV, the participants ranked high prices and the state of the economy as the country’s most significant problems.

Purchasing power of Greeks second from bottom in the EU

Greeks have the second to the bottom—just above Bulgaria—purchasing power in the EU according to Eurostat data released earlier in the week. These statistics put a dent in the Greek government’s triumphant claims about the rise in economic prosperity.

In 2023, substantial differences in GDP per capita, expressed in purchasing power standards, were recorded among EU countries.

Luxembourg and Ireland had the highest levels (140 percent and 112 percent above the EU average, respectively), well ahead of the Netherlands (30 percent above the EU average), Denmark (+28 percent), and Austria (+23 percent).

In contrast, Bulgaria registered the lowest GDP per capita, 36 percent below the EU average, while Greece (-33 percent) and Latvia (-29 percent) were just above that.

The countries of the European South that were also in the throes of the economic crisis in the previous decade, such as Portugal, Spain and Italy, are ranked much higher than Greece, with GDP per capita in purchasing power units set at 83 percent, 89 percent and 97 percent of the European average in 2023.

Greece is also ranked below many former Eastern Bloc countries, such as Romania, Croatia, Hungary, Slovakia, and even Latvia, ranked 25th, which has a GDP per capita in purchasing power units of 70.1 percent of the European average.

At the same time, the price level is at 88.2 percent of the average (these are figures for 2022, as other data is not yet available from Eurostat), reinforcing the sense of extravagant prices in Greece, causing widespread dissatisfaction as all opinion polls of recent months have shown.

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