Greece’s Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced on Wednesday that the minimum wage will be increased by €50 a month ($54), from €663 at present to €713 ($773), from May 1.
In a televised address Mitsotakis said that the latest increase, the second this year since January, amounts to a 9.7% increase in the minimum wage since 2021.
For 650,000 employees, the increase corresponds to another month’s salary, on top of the 14 months they receive at present (which includes the holiday bonuses paid in installments at Easter and Christmas).
The rise in the minimum wage is a step toward “growth for all”
“‘Growth for all’ was our promise from the beginning. And this is the goal of our policy. Today we are taking another important step to achieve it.” Mitsotakis said, expressing the hope that the increase will help “finding it hard to cope.”
“Every day in cities and neighborhoods I meet workers, and especially young people, who are paid the minimum wage. The common concern I see on everyone’s faces is the inflation caused by the international energy crisis and the war in Ukraine. The prices of electricity, on the supermarket shelf, at the fuel pumps.”
Από την 1η Μαΐου, ο βασικός μισθός αυξάνεται κατά 50 ευρώ τον μήνα. Από τα 663 ευρώ ανεβαίνει στα 713 ευρώ. Συνολική αύξηση 9.7% σε σχέση με τον κατώτατο μισθό του 2021. Με απλά λόγια ένας 15ος μισθός προστίθεται στο εισόδημα των σχεδόν 650.000 εργαζόμενων αυτής της κατηγορίας. pic.twitter.com/z5Ity1wWjI
— Prime Minister GR (@PrimeministerGR) April 20, 2022
Greek unions went on a general strike in early April in protest against rising prices that have reduced the disposable incomes of workers.
Public and private sector unions ADEDY and GSEE have mobilized against the price hikes in energy and food and bread items and demand urgent protection of society and a rise in the minimum wage.
“We will not accept the continuation of huge increases in electricity, oil, gas, bread, and all kinds of public goods so as not to affect the profitability of business conglomerates,” ADEDY said in a statement.
Inflation in Greece is fueled by the Russia-Ukraine conflict
Inflation in Greece jumped to 8 percent in March, according to preliminary data released by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.
The inflation rate in Greece was 7.2 percent in February compared to 6.2 percent in January.
The increases are fueled by the Russia-Ukraine conflict with the cost of Russian energy and Ukrainian grain dramatically spiking. Businesses and households continue to face a massive wave of price increases with the government struggling to reel them in.