A couple of stories of interest have appeared recently in the Greek press. The first, from enet, outlines salary discrepancies across the board in the public sector in Greece. Public servant salaries are supposed to be similar according to pay grade. However the article points out that they are not. But what really interests us is a peek at what the average salaries actually are, as it is those salaries that the majority of public sector employees receive.
For example, the enet article states: “At primary and secondary school level, teachers with a fixed position earn on average €1,750, while those on indefinite contracts earn about €1,325.” This is before taxes.
The second article from Kathimerini simply outlines the increasing burdens on the normal Greek who is lucky enough to be working.
What does all this have to do with Skopelos? Other than the fact that we have neighbours working in the public sector, the figures reveal that there is very little expendable income (after taxes, mortgages, bills and basic living expenses) for most public sector wage earners in Greece. Poor wages have a detrimental effect on the economy as small and larger enterprises close due to regular customers not being able to buy goods and services. Diminishing wages and increasing expenditures in the form of taxes also affects those locations which depend on Greek tourism to earn their keep.
The highly recommended website “Living in Greece” of the journalist Kat Christofer has a comprehensive article on Greek salaries. Maybe more than you want to know.
“The basic gross salary for a civil servant with a compulsory education is 711 euros/month. A majority 80 percent of workers in the public sector earn 1000-1500 euros/month and have salaries 40 percent higher than private sector workers, once allowances and bonuses are added. They only work 35 hours a week and have jobs for life and only began working 40 hours/week on August 16, 2011”
So, if you have a tourism enterprise depending of Greek Tourism, don’t expect things to improve anytime soon.