Greece raises minimum wage to pre-bailout levels
Greece has announced a minimum wage hike that will restore wages to existing levels before sweeping cuts were imposed more than a decade ago in an international bailout
Athens, Greece — Greece announced a minimum wage increase on Friday that will restore wages to existing levels before sweeping cuts were imposed more than a decade ago in an international bailout.
Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said the gross monthly minimum wage would drop from 713 euros to 780 euros ($830) on April 1.
“I have no illusions. We know that in our country wages are still low and they are squeezed even more by inflation,” said Mitsotakis, whose center-right government is facing general elections in the spring.
Under pressure from lenders, Greece imposed severe pay cuts in 2012 during bailout programs financed by a European Union bailout fund and the International Monetary Fund.
As the country was on the verge of bankruptcy, the government took control of wage policy – previously defined by social negotiations – and lowered the minimum monthly wage from 751 euros to 586 euros.
Greek salaries are paid in 14 installments per year, to provide a supplement at Christmas, Easter and summer holidays. Averaged over 12 payments, the new gross monthly minimum wage will increase to 910 euros.