Saturday October 25, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
19o C
12o 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 Labor’s (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 person’s 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 GSEE’s 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)  
End of reason, end of humanity
Banks need to step up
Tension for tension’s sake?
Testing ground
Athens, Nicosia satisfied by EU leaders´ stance toward Ankara
A reference in Friday’s European Council conclusions calling on Turkey to respect Cyprus’s sovereign rights left Athens and Nicosia content with the outcome of the European Union leaders’ su...
Suspended policeman chief suspect in cousin’s murder
A 27-year-old police officer who has been suspended from duty since 2013 for extortion, is being treated as the chief suspect in a murder committed in a suburb of Piraeus on Thursday. Police...
Inside News
TAIPED waits for green light from Eurostat
Eurostat has frozen the securitization of properties that the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (TAIPED) had been planning. The project, drafted to bring some 400 million euros into t...
Trade deficit shrinks on big drop in imports
Greece’s trade deficit shrank 29.5 percent year-on-year in August as a result of the considerable 16.3 percent decline in imports, Hellenic Statistical Authority figures revealed on Friday. ...
Inside Business
BASKETBALL
A win is a win is a win for Olympiakos
A bad Olympiakos defeated a worse Laboral Kutxa 63-57 to make it two out of two in the Euroleague on Friday. In a game where the two teams had an overall field goal rate of about one in thre...
SOCCER
Panathinaikos snatches point at Eindhoven
Panathinaikos offered its fans a glimpse of its glorious past in European competitions snatching a draw at PSV Eindhoven, on an otherwise bad night for Greek soccer in the Europa League, as ...
Inside Sports
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. A win is a win is a win for Olympiakos
2. TAIPED waits for green light from Eurostat
3. Trade deficit shrinks on big drop in imports
4. SMEs unable to claim subsidies
5. Taxes kept growing in second quarter
6. Thessaloniki Port expects 2014 to be record year
more news
Today
This Week
1. End of reason, end of humanity
2. Banks need to step up
3. Woman killed in tram accident in Floisvo, south of Athens
4. Clocks to go back 1 hour on Sunday
5. Venizelos slams Turkey for 'flagrant violation of international law' off Cyprus
6. ECB vies for third time lucky in European stress tests
Today
This Week
1. The past, present and future of the Greek debt crisis
2. Greece’s closed society is central to its current malaise
3. Greece must stick to reforms, says Schaeuble
4. At least 11 banks to fail European stress tests, three in Greece, report says
5. Cyprus to block Turkey's EU talks after EEZ violation
6. Stop moaning and get in the game
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.