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Greeks earning less, trapped in part-time low wage jobs

Greeks earning less, trapped in part-time low wage jobs
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Unemployment in Greece remains stuck near record highs, but even many of those with a job are struggling financially.

Newly released figures show nearly 30 percent of workers in the private sector are earning less that 600 euros a month.

Theodoros Anastasopoulos left university three years ago, but the only job he can get is as a public opinion pollster:

He told euronews: “Two years after I completed my studies, I found this part-time job which pays me 250 to 300 euros a month. Obviously, I cannot afford to rent anywhere to live, I stay with my mother and my sister and the money we make covers only the food, utility bills and taxes.”

The Greek Labour Ministry says there are 1,371,450 people employed by private companies in the country.

Twenty percent of them – 274,000 – earn less that 500 euros a month, mostly working part time. Another eight percent – that’s 100,000 people – have a monthly income of 500 to 600 euros.

Most of the rest earn between 1,000 and 2,000 euros. Labour costs have fallen as unemployment has been rising.

Anna Hatzioannidou told us: “I finished my architecture studies a year ago. I have sent out over 100 CVs, I have only had a couple of job interviews. Now, I work as a part time photographer, taking pictures at night clubs and bars, for 240 euros per month.”

Dramatically lower wages have not meant more people in work.

In September unemployment inched up to 27.4 percent of the workforce from 27.3 percent in the previous two months. Almost 52 percent of young people are without a job.

Euronews reporter in Athens Symela Touchtidou said: “Even when people are poorly paid, often it takes a long time for them to get their money. Research by the Greek Confederation of Trade Unions shows nearly half of all companies are paying wages at least one month late.”