Greece: income down 25% in 2011, says OECD

Central bank predicts further 20% fall in 2013-14

(ANSAmed) – ATHENS – Despite the severe austerity measures imposed by the government in Athens, in line with international creditors, in a bid to restore to health the country’s disastrous national accounts, the recession in Greece is being felt with increasing force.

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has announced today that income in the country fell by 25.3% last year compared to 2010. The figure comes in an annual OECD report, which features analysis of figures supplied by Greece’s Ministry of Finance.Worse still, the future is far from positive. Only two days ago, the governor of Greece’s central bank, Giorgios Provopoulos, presented the bank’s annual report on the progress of the national economy, which predicts that the recession will reach a level of 5% for the current year, while the first timid signs of economic recovery will not be seen until at least the end of 2013.

For all of these reasons, the central bank predicts that income for public and public sector workers will suffer a further fall of around 20% between 2013 and 2014, while the rate of unemployment will remain above 19%. As the head of Greece’s statistics office (Elstat) recently announced, the unemployment rate in the country hit a new record high in January, rising to 21.8% after a figure of 21.2% in December. In essence, the number of people without work in Greece has almost doubled since 2010, the year that the impact of the crisis first began to be felt, and when the Athens government turned to the EU and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for emergency loans.

The OECD study also shows that Greek workers pay relatively low taxes but high levels of social contribution. Maurice Nettley, an expert in fiscal economy at the OECD, said that the gross average wage had fallen from 20,457 euros to 15,729 euros in 2011. The fall is of the order of 23.1%, but rises to 25.3% if inflation is taken into account. Net of tax on income (for unmarried workers), income fell by 25.5% to 16,180 euros per year. (ANSAmed).


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