Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras announced on Monday that the nation will raise its minimum wage to €650 ($745) per month, and his government will abolish the ”sub-minimum” wage which has been paid to those under the age of 25.
Tsipras declared during a cabinet meeting that, 10 years after the financial crisis began, Greece is finally taking another historic step by putting an end to the wage cuts which had been seen as a necessary belt-tightening measure at the time.
The Greek minimum wage had been €751 ($860) until 2012, when it was reduced to €589 ($670) for those over the age of 25 and €510 ($585) for those under 25.
The prime minister called the establishment of the ”sub-minimum” wage a ”dishonorable measure that did nothing to help tackle the unemployment of the youth”.
Σήμερα είμαστε έτοιμοι να κάνουμε ακόμη ένα μεγάλο βήμα. Να προχωρήσουμε στην αύξηση του κατώτατου μισθού και την κατάργηση του υποκατώτου μισθού για τους νέους.
— Prime Minister GR (@PrimeministerGR) January 28, 2019
The raise will take effect on February 1, 2019, meaning that those who currently earn either €510 or €586, will see their wages raise to €650 per month. In percentage points, the under-25s will see their wages rise by 27.5 percent and the rest of the population will receive an 11 percent increase.
Tsipras also noted during his cabinet meeting speech to his ministers that there is more work to be done after the confidence vote his government took several days ago. This is the reason why he has set the next general elections to take place in October of 2019.
The prime minister also announced that Greece will buy 5-year bonds in an effort to demonstrate to the global markets that the country can now borrow without the assistance of its creditors.
Tsipras also spoke of Greece having become a ”different country” now, referring with pride to the recent achievements of the Greek economy and the importance of the ratification of the Prespa Agreement.