ECONOMY

Greek minimum wage compares favorably with EU countries’ in purchasing power terms

At 605 euros per month, Greece’s minimum wage may not appear much, especially to the recipients, but it is not that bad compared to similar European Union member states and the United States. The data released yesterday by Eurostat, the European Union’s statistics agency, shows a three-tiered division in the EU (or, at least, the 18 members represented): a group of five (Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Belgium, France and Great Britain) with minimum monthly wages over 1,000 in both nominal and purchasing power parity (PPP) terms, with Ireland trying to catch up; a second group, led by Greece and including both Spain and Portugal and a couple of the richest new members (Malta and Slovenia); and most of the newcomers, where nominal minimum wages range between 121 and 207 euros. In PPP terms, Greece’s minimum monthly wage rises to 821 euros. This is, in broad terms, a sign that the country is cheaper than the EU average and may be a result of the fact that Greeks, with a very high ratio of owner-occupied homes, pay less for rent. The two countries thrown in for comparison purposes, the US and Turkey, have PPP-adjusted minimum wages of 797 and 519 euros, respectively. The nominal wages are 727 and 240 euros, respectively.