FinMin rejects claims minimum wage will be cut

Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras on Wednesday stepped into the debate over the minimum wage in Greece, insisting there are no plans to reduce it, as SYRIZA suggested that the government has already agreed to bring it down from 586 euros next year.

Stournaras was adamant that the coalition has no intention of slashing the basic salary after last year’s 22 percent reduction. SYRIZA MEP Nikos Hountis quoted a letter from European Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn saying that the minimum wage in Greece was to be reviewed in 2014.

Stournaras said it was disingenuous of SYRIZA to suggest that this meant salaries would be cut next year. He said that the only change would be the way the minimum wage is set, with the government taking control of the process rather than leaving it to labor unions and employers to decide.

“We repeat that the minimum wage will not be reduced further and we are sorry if this spoils the plans and hopes of some people,” said Stournaras.

Finance Ministry general secretary Giorgos Mergos suggested on Tuesday that the basic salary was too high. He later said his comments were misinterpreted.

Mergos was forced to defend himself against claims that he earned three salaries. Mergos said his salary as a university professor was stopped when he took up his ministry post and that he was also remunerated for representing the ministry on the board of the Hellenic Financial Stability Fund.

Subscribe to our Newsletters

Enter your information below to receive our weekly newsletters with the latest insights, opinion pieces and current events straight to your inbox.

By signing up you are agreeing to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.