Monday February 2, 2015 Search
Weather | Athens
16o C
13o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
The real devaluation

By Nikos Konstandaras

For some time now, the high cost of the internal devaluation which the Greek economy is undergoing has been evident. Since 2010, gross domestic product has shrunk by 23 percent and employment has dropped by 20 percent, with the jobless rate hitting 27.3 percent in 2013. The General Confederation of Greek Labors (GSEE) annual report on the economy and employment, which was made public yesterday, is full of statistics but it cannot trace the real cost of devaluation that which relates to people and their professional value.

We cannot measure in numbers the shock of an employee who suddenly finds himself outside the framework of his job, nor a young persons fear that he or she cannot hope for a steady job. Whether it affects us or someone close to us, we all know what it means to have to redefine our identity because we have lost our job, or because the sector in which we are employed is sinking. A worker is part of a hierarchy, with clear boundaries, responsibilities and rewards. Jobless, we are adrift in society, our identity shaken.

While the recession lasts, people who are suddenly unemployed face the added woe of not knowing when they will find a job nor in which sector. Countless companies across the economy will not recover and their workers will have to acquire new skills and find new jobs when jobs are created. From 2010 to 2013, the number of unemployed grew by 930,000 people, touching almost every family.

The crisis and long recession have resulted not only in high unemployment but also in the equally dangerous devaluation of professional values. According to the report by GSEEs Labor Institute, from 2010-13, in current prices, incomes of salaried individuals and self-employed professionals were reduced by 41 billion euros. Those who still have jobs are paid less for what is often more work, because colleagues have been fired. Others are forced to take jobs below their skill level, or to emigrate. The investment in studies and work experience is thus lost to the Greek economy.

On the other hand, many employers do whatever they can to save their companies, reducing costs but also quality. By devaluing their products, they open the way for companies which exploit workers need for jobs, paying the lowest possible wages (often without social security) and producing low-quality goods. In the end, the pirate companies will wipe out the serious ones another devaluation that society must face.

There are no easy solutions. The GSEE report says that growth and employment will be boosted if the prices of domestic goods are reduced, if wages are raised and if there is a long-term improvement in structural competitiveness through investment in technology and restructuring of production modes. No one disagrees with this but it is not easy to achieve. Until national and EU programs start making a difference, it is up to each of us to keep our sense of worth from dying.

ekathimerini.com , Friday September 5, 2014 (09:39)  
The dogma and the command center
Silence will not be forgiven
Greece shakes Europes political kaleidoscope: expect the unexpected
Unyielding truth
Deputy PM Dragasakis confident ECB will not cut liquidity for Greek banks
Greek Deputy Prime Minister Yannis Dragasakis dismissed fears that the ECB may cut vital liquidity support to Greek banks if it fails to agree with international creditors, saying the new go...
Varoufakis counting on ECB as Sapin says Greece needs new contract with eurozone
Greece is counting on the European Central Bank to maintain a financial lifeline while the week-old government in Athens negotiates new terms on its international bailout package, Finance Mi...
Inside News
Piraeus port U-turn will not hurt China investment: analysts
The shipping containers emblazoned with the COSCO logo on the quayside at Greece's biggest port Piraeus are a sign that China has invested heavily here. Even though Greece's new left-wing go...
ANALYSIS
Cash may dry up earlier than thought
The negotiations between the new government and the countrys international lenders got off to a rough start, as evidenced by the joint press conference between Finance Minister Yanis Varouf...
Inside Business
SOCCER
Reds stretch lead as Panetolikos upsets PAOK
Panetolikoss surprise win at Toumba over PAOK on Saturday allowed Olympiakos to open its lead at the top of the Super League table to five points, one week before the Reds visit to Thessal...
TRACK & FIELD
Three Greek athletes earn tickets to Prague
Greek track and field enjoyed an exceptionally good weekend of performances by local athletes at various indoor meetings, with three of them earning a ticket to the European Indoor Champions...
Inside Sports
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
RECENT NEWS
1. Deputy PM Dragasakis confident ECB will not cut liquidity for Greek banks
2. Reds stretch lead as Panetolikos upsets PAOK
3. Three Greek athletes earn tickets to Prague
4. Varoufakis counting on ECB as Sapin says Greece needs new contract with eurozone
5. Piraeus port U-turn will not hurt China investment: analysts
6. Cash may dry up earlier than thought
more news
Today
This Week
1. Dijsselbloem says Greece has to decide how to move ahead
2. Greece shakes Europe's political kaleidoscope: expect the unexpected
3. France open to easing Greek debt burden, says finance minister
4. The dogma and the command center
5. Greece offers olive branch to seek allies
6. Poll shows most Germans want Greece to stay in eurozone
Today
This Week
1. Greek Elections 2015 | LIVE
2. SYRIZA heads for historic victory but without majority
3. EU must accept that Greek debt relief is inevitable
4. SYRIZA's win will test institutions
5. Greek Elections 2015: The day after | LIVE
6. Athens may veto further EU sanctions against Russia
Find us ...
... on
Twitter
... on Facebook
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright 2015, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.