The exact effect of the austerity measures…
Partial translation of Le Nouvel Observateur article [selected and edited by Daphne Leportois] by tumblr owner. For full French article, click HERE.
Wait a second, we have almost forgotten it [the Greek population]. Suddenly, we realize the true meaning of the austerity measures (for which we had just done a victory prayer a few seconds ago).
Very fast, we forget the numbers and economic arguments, to dive into the social disaster that can be found in this article by Effy Tselikas in MyEurop. Here are the measures taken by the Greek government so they can be allowed to borrow from the markets:
- The generalization of a “convention of professional experience”, a kind of youth employment: this new work contract allows employers to hire youth under 25 for a salary reduced by 20%, therefore a salary of about 500 euros. Of course, it includes a 2 year trial period and does not include any social benefit for the employees: they do not get any unemployment benefits at the end of their contract. This measure just became extended to young university graduates as well.
- The end of overtime: the employer can increase the 8 hour workdays to 10 hours if he so wishes, sometimes even to 12 hours. At the beginning, this measure was only going to be applied for 6 months, but it is now extended to 12 months.
- Increased flexibility at work: the fixed duration contracts can now be renewed for 3 full years (instead of 2) and the young employees can be fired without any indemnities for the first 3 years of employment.
- An extreme tax increase: +3% for everyone.
- An increase on value added tax: from 13% to 24%.
- And of course a decrease in the expenses for social security and pension.
The Greek government justifies these measures which affect first and foremost the youth, by displaying a shocking statistic: unemployment rate for adults between 18-25 years old is around 40% while for the general population it is 16.2%. Therefore, with this in mind, the measure does not hope to reduce labor cost but to incite companies to create jobs for a population which today, has no income at all.
Enough! This time we really feel nauseous. Forgotten is Greece’s debt and the financial calculations made to get out of it. Here we are, filled with a sincere compassion for the Greek population. They were 300,000 on June 5th in Athens to showcase their distaste, and they regrouped on June 15th to yell their indignation. We offer them our sincere solidarity.