The minimum wage in Greece will be raised by 2%, Prime minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced at the cabinet, on Monday 26.
The move is characterized “symbolic” as “it does cover the needs of the employees” the PM admitted.
In Greece, the minimum wage is regulated by law and not through collective bargaining.
As of February 2019, the statutory minimum wage and the statutory minimum daily wage for full-time work for all employees and skilled workers throughout Greece, without age discrimination, is as follows:
a) for employees, the minimum salary was €650. It rises to €758 once the Christmas and Easter bonuses are added (nominal salary).
b) for skilled workers, the minimum daily wage was €29.04.
Greece ranks 11th in the European Union based on nominal salary.
Employers’ associations (from manufacturing, trade, small scale industries) opposed the idea of a minimum wage rise, arguing that the country’s GDP has shrank by 8% last year due to the pandemic crisis.
In a recent study, the Foundation for Economic and Industrial Research (IOBE) rejected large-scale wage rises and noted that “in the medium term it is appropriate minimum wage increases to take into consideration the rate increase of labor productivity.”
The Bank of Greece has warned that the minimum wage rise might heavily impact unskilled labor and result into an increase of unemployment.
Still, the Greek government believes the 2% rise will boost the revival of the national economy and will support low incomes.