The Greek Federation of Employers, SEV, is asking for the reduction of labor costs as a negotiating point for talks with the unions and the government. On the other side, ESEE, the Confederation of Greek Merchants is asking for a raise in the minimum wage to 701 Euros net monthly as a measure to deal with recession and to raise public income.
SEV announced that every kind of agreement among social partners must take into account the existing conditions in the market. The private sector carries the burden of the whole public sector as SEV also said in its announcement. The agreement must take care of the hundred thousand unemployed, many of whom were businessmen who were forced to close their business, SEV also states. Taking this into account SEV has asked for reduction in wages of the so-called “noble contracts,” meaning those who include wages up to twice the minimum, and the lift of any kind of barriers to entrepreneurship.
On the other side, ESEE presented a paper which maintained that if the minimum wage rises to 751 Euros, as it had before the second bail-out, the effects on the market and the state will be positive. According to the ESEE’s paper, the issue of minimum wage is very important because wagers who earn the minimum tend to spend most of it in the basic expenses, rent, bills, food, all those products and services that we categorize as “basic.” The paper published by ESEE claims that a rise in the minimum wage would bring 2,4 billion Euros to the tax authorities and another 4,7 billion Euros in the market. If the minimum wage were to be raised by 19%, consumption would rise by 9% claims ESEE.