The Finance and Labor ministries insisted on Tuesday that Greece has no intention of lowering its minimum wage any further after a government official suggested that at 586 euros gross per month, the lowest salaries in Greece might still be too high. Speaking at an insurance conference in Athens, Finance Ministry general secretary Giorgos Mergos suggested that Greece should examine its minimum wage, which was reduced by 22 percent last year under pressure from the troika, in its bid to drive growth.
Labor Minister Yiannis Vroutsis reacted by saying that the minimum wage would remain at its current levels until Greece completes its fiscal adjustment program, which is due to conclude in 2016.
The Finance Ministry also said there was no question of the government tampering with the minimum wage.
The government’s swift denials regarding basic pay were not enough to stop the criticism from opposition parties.
“He has admitted the coalition government’s real intentions, which is to reduce wages to the same level as Romania and Bulgaria,” said SYRIZA MP Dimitris Stratoulis, who added that a change in legislation last year allows the government to set the minimum wage from April 1, rather than for it to be the product of negotiations between unions and employers.