Thousands of workers in gray area

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Over 180,000 workers find themselves in a gray area between underemployment and joblessness, and very close to poverty, as they have been on furlough for more than three months, with monthly takings reduced by at least 50%, according to a report by the Labor Institute of the General Confederation of Greek Labor (INE GSEE) released on Thursday.

In the second quarter of the year – which included most of the spring lockdown – the average monthly salary dropped by 10%, coming to 802 euros against €885 in the second quarter of last year. At the same time, the share of workers with salaries up to €200 a month jumped from 1% to 12% of all salaried workers.

In total 73% of workers have monthly revenues of less than €1,000, almost a third (31%) are paid less than the minimum salary and 83% of those receiving the minimum salary find themselves below the poverty line.

In their report, the INE GSEE experts warn of an “unprecedented recession,” worse than the debt crisis of the 2010s, with a “shock in employment” that will lead to the impoverishment of workers.”

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