The goal is to be able to converge with the rest of Europe’s salariesthis is the government’s big bet, the prime minister emphasized on Monday, Kyriakos Mitsotakis according to his visit to the Helios spice industry.

During the visit the prime minister had the opportunity to talk to workers about the fourth increase in the minimum wage in recent yearsbut also for the increase of the average salary while at the same time he was informed about the application of the digital work card, which was enlarged on 1 January so as to include, inter alia, enterprises belonging to the industry sector.

“From today, the minimum wage is increasing at 830 euros, if you think about it, the last four years has risen over 26%… The minimum wage has risen more than inflation” he pointed out. “We still have a significant difference”, he acknowledged, however, in terms of convergence with the rest of European salaries.

However, as Mr. Mitsotakis mentioned, “more and more companies do not pay the minimum wage, but they give something more.”

As the Prime Minister noted, the important thing is that businesses can withstand the increase. “We believe that businesses can bear this increase, because we have reduced taxes and contributions, we have supported businesses as a whole”.

“The second thing we have to watch out for is that the increase does not fuel a new wave of appreciations” he stated.

Kyriakos Mitsotakis also referred to the implementation of the digital work card, noting that the government believes in the measure, because this is how working time is fully recorded. “About us is the final and absolute guarantee that the working time is fully recorded, something that both the company itself and the employees themselves must desire” he said characteristically.

The prime minister’s statements in detail

“The minimum wage has risen more than inflation

As of today, the minimum wage is also increasing to 830 euros. If you consider that in the last four years the minimum wage has increased by more than 26%. It has increased cumulatively now, and with this increase, more than inflation. It is something that we must emphasize, because we have increased food inflation, but household expenses are not only food, it is energy, it is transport, it is an overall “household basket” that we must evaluate” , said Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

“The truth is what you said, that more and more businesses are not paying their workers the minimum wage, they give something more. And in this way the average salary increases, because this must ultimately be the goal, so that we can converge in terms of salary with Europe, which is also the big bet of our own economic policy”, pointed out the Prime Minister.

According to the ERGANI system data, the average salary in Greece reached 1,258 euros at the end of 2023, compared to 1,046 euros in 2019while private employees paid 901-1,200 euros, i.e. in some of the first steps above the basic salary, increased by more than 175,800 between 2022 and 2023.

“What we want to look at with the increase in the minimum wage are two things: the first is to make sure that the business can bear it. We believe that businesses can bear this increase because, don’t forget, we have reduced taxes, we have reduced contributions, we have overall supported businesses and balance sheets. The second thing we have to watch out for is that the increase does not fuel a new wave of revaluations”, added Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

The digital card absolute guarantee that working time is fully recorded

The Prime Minister was informed about the use of the digital work card by the company’s staff and stressed the importance of the measure to protect workers’ rights.

“We strongly believe in the digital work card and we are glad that businesses, which cover all sectors of the economy, such as here a historic food processing company, have included the digital work card in the daily schedule of employees. For us, it is the final and absolute guarantee that the working time is fully recorded”, noted Mr Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

“We insist so much the actual working time of employees to be declared in this wayshould not be open to any dispute, so that we also fight undeclared, supplementary undeclared work, which ultimately deprives the worker of the income to which he is entitled based on the actual time he has worked”, stressed the Prime Minister.

“Let me say something else, which is important. Here we are talking about an essentially food processing plant. And because there is a lot of talk about manufacturing as a whole in Greece, we have a dynamic food industry and slowly but gradually what we call “production and processing” is increasing its participation in the country’s GDP”, said Kyriakos Mitsotakis. “And of course, to insist and how important is what you have achieved and that is the brandthat is, it is the identity of the company, the identity of the product, which now gives the consumer a guarantee of quality and a good price-quality ratio, because after all, this is what the consumer is looking for today. If he chooses a branded product, he wants a good price-quality ratio.”