ECONOMY

Minimum wage may rise again

Hatzidakis doesn’t rule out a possible increase above the 2% hike scheduled for next year

minimum-wage-may-rise-again

The anticipation of higher growth rates in Greece have generated scenarios of an increase in the minimum salary, which is supposed to grow by 2% as of January 1, 2022.

Labor Minister Kostis Hatzidakis did not rule out such a possibility on Thursday, while also announcing additional measures to support workers and the unemployed in the coming months, beyond those that the prime minister announced last Saturday in Thessaloniki.

The measures presented by Kyriakos Mitsotakis at the Thessaloniki International Fair, concerning action the Labor Ministry will implement, add up to 1 billion euros and don’t just concern workers and the jobless but employers, too.

Hatzidakis said they concern three of the government’s central priorities, which are the strengthening of employment (especially for young people), the reduction of the tax and social security burdens on labor, and the improvement of workers’ real incomes.

He said the high economic growth rates will facilitate the leap forward and that will also be reflected in workers’ salaries. Referring to the increase of the minimum wage in particular, the minister stated that the government has reached the decision for a 2% increase next year, having weighed all conditions in 2021.

However, he added, the new consultation process on the minimum salary will begin in early 2022, and after taking into account the decisions of the competent entities, the government will make its position known and “there will be a reflection of the government’s intention for a social dividend,” he noted. “Our will and recommendation is that the increased social dividend be reflected in the minimum salary,” Hatzidakis said.

He expressed his satisfaction with the official unemployment figures, noting that since this government came into office, there has been a decline in the jobless rate of some three percentage points. He did concede that July’s 14.2% rate is still high, while youth unemployment remains exceptionally high.