Greece’s minimum wage will increase by 50 euros per month, from 663 to 713 euros as of May 1, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced on Wednesday in a televised address.
“Now is the time to boost lower incomes,” the prime minister said, calling on employers to act accordingly and increase wages for all employees. The move follows a 2% increase on January 1.
Mitsotakis said that combined with the January installment, the 50-euro rise is equivalent to an overall increase of 9.7% compared to the minimum wage of 2021.
He stressed that the almost 650,000 employees in this category will basically earn more than an extra month’s salary per year.
“A 15th monthly salary is henceforth added to their income,” he underlined.
“Now is the time for employees. And firstly of the low paid. Because I never envisioned an economy with a comparative advantage of low earnings. Instead, I committed to many, well-paid jobs. And, indeed, unemployment is already falling rapidly. In 33 months, five whole [percentage points] have retreated, despite the successive crises that have taken place,” he said.
Mitsotakis also noted that “wages, indeed, are still very low in our country.”
“The wounds of the 10-year financial crisis have not healed. And, of course, now, the global explosion of inflation is hitting the low paid and the unemployed first,” he said, adding that the increase in the minimum wage “is a decision of responsibility and solidarity.”
He also underlined that his main concern is not to disrupt social cohesion, “but also not to undermine what we have achieved so far with misguided moves.”
The Greek premier further referred to the confidence he has in the potential of the country’s economy and above all in the Greek workers.
“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, noting that any increase should not burden either the competitiveness or the costs, especially of small businesses.
Truth be told, he stressed, the companies have been heavily supported by the government, with less taxes and levies and buoyed with liquidity as well as with the recent subsidies to cover high energy costs.