Greek labor minister Yiorgos Koutroumanis announced today that a minimum wage cut will go into effect March 1. He played down the reduction, saying that the cuts would not necessarily affect workers' wages. "The reduction is a right but not an obligation for employers," Koutroumanis told Athens News.
But workers don't see it that way. Greece's two main unions, GSEE and Adedy, staged massive marches this week to protest salary cuts made by the government in order to secure bailout money. Around 5,700 demonstrators marched in Athens, the Associated Press reported today.
Athens News described the protest as peaceful, but 30 people were taken in for questioning.
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The proposed minimum wage cuts are a 22 percent reduction from 751 to 580 euros a month, or about $1,000 to $770 a month.
The wage cuts were demanded by inspectors from the European Union and International Monetary Fund, Athens News said.