In a statement Greece’s Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said, Athens will raise minimum wage for a second time this year following a rise in inflation levels which has taken a toll on consumers’ income.
The government increased monthly gross minimum wage by about 2% at 663 euros from this month. The second raise in minimum wages will be implemented from May 1, said Mitsotakis.
“I estimate that the rise in the minimum wage will be a significant one, it will be much higher than the 2% rise,” said Mitsotakis.
A rise in global energy prices has been the main driver of inflation, which has accelerated to 5.1% in December 2021 – the highest level in 11 years, according to data from Greece’s statistics service ELSTAT.
“We estimate that this disturbance (with energy prices) will be more intense in the first three months of 2022 before it subsides,” said Mitsotakis.
Athens has spent around $1.55 billion (1.35 billion euros) in subsidies to help households and businesses meet a rise in energy prices, including gas bill since September 2021. Last week, it extended the financial relief into January at an additional cost of about 400 million euros.
Last week the country saw a record 50,126 daily coronavirus infections, bringing the total number of infections to 1,612,869 since the beginning of the pandemic in 2020.
Mitsotakis said he was “cautiously optimistic” about the pandemic, with cases seen dropping further in the next coming weeks.
($1 = 0.8730 euros)