ATHENS, GREECE (AP) – Greece announced on Friday an increase in the minimum wage that will restore pay to levels existing before sweeping cuts were imposed more than a decade ago during an international bailout.
Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said the gross minimum monthly salary will go up on April 1 to EUR780 from EUR713.
“I have no illusions. We know that in our country, wages are still low, and they are being squeezed even more by inflation,” said Mitsotakis, whose centre-right government faces a general election in the spring.
Under pressure from lenders, Greece imposed severe pay cuts in 2012 during bailout programmes funded by a European Union rescue fund and the International Monetary Fund.
As the country was on the brink of bankruptcy, the government took control of wage policy – previously set through labour negotiations – and slashed the minimum monthly pay from EUR751 to EUR586.
Greek salaries are paid out over 14 instalments annually, to provide extra during the winter holidays, Easter and the summer holidays.
Averaged over 12 payments, the new gross minimum monthly pay will rise to EUR910.