NEWS

Tsipras announces 11 pct minimum wage increase

TAGS: Politics

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras announced an 11 percent increase in the minimum wage during a cabinet meeting on Monday, the first such wage hike in the country in almost a decade.

The hike will raise the minimum wage from 586 to 650 euros and is expected to affect 600,000 employees. He also said the government will scrap the so-called subminimum wage of 518 euros paid to young employees.

“The strategy of fair growth and the strategic aim to limit injustices passes through the increase in the minimum wage, but also the strengthening of salaried work and the negotiating power of employees,” he told the cabinet. 

Greece emerged in August from its third international bailout since 2010 and the government, which faces a national election this year, has promised to reverse some of the unpopular reforms it implemented under bailout supervision.

The standard mimimum monthly wage was slashed by 22 percent to 586 euros in 2012, when Greece was struggling to emerge from a recession.

A deeper cut was imposed on workers below 25 years, as part of measures prescribed by international lenders to make the labour market more flexible and the economy more competitive.

Tsipras, who signed up to Greece's third bailout and whose term ends in October, has said he wants the youth mimimum wage abolished.

Athens had told its European lenders that it would reinstate the minimum wage process after the end of the bailout. [Reuters, Kathimerini]

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