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Recession and unemployment are rising but the average pension remains 907 euro

07 June 2013 / 21:06:41  GRReporter
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Greece's economy continues to shrink. Despite all the positive messages of the government and Brussels, the truth is that Greece continues to lose productive forces and to bend under the pressure of the crisis. Strict fiscal consolidation measures, high taxes, low consumption and low interest of strong investors in the assets of the country have proved crucial for the deepening recession.

In the first quarter of 2013, recession was 5.6% of GDP as reported by the National Statistical Authority in Greece (ELSAT). Unemployment reached 26.7% in March, which is some improvement compared to February 2013 when the same figure was 27%. According to official data, the number of unemployed in Greece exceeds 1.3 million. The total number of people of working age in the country is 3.58 million. For one year, from March 2012 to the same month of 2013, the number of unemployed in the country increased by 246,000, almost 10% of the whom are people who are not working and no longer looking for a job.

At the same time, Greece ranks first among the euro area countries by the number of freelancers. The average rate of freelancers in the European Union is 15.2% of the total market. This rate for Greece is 32% followed by Italy with 23.4%, Portugal with 21% and Romania with 20%. The rate of freelancers in the labour market is lowest in Estonia (8.3%), Luxembourg (8.4%) and Denmark (9%).

The problem with freelancers or self-employed (as they are known) is that it is very difficult to prove their real income. It has been established in Greece that the group of self-employed (private medical practice, legal services, technicians, etc.) is the one that rarely declares the full amount of the income earned during the year. The large number of self-employed combined with the poor fiscal control is one of the biggest challenges facing the government, which is also the opinion of the supervisory Troika of the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank and the European Union.

Despite all the negative macroeconomic factors, there is good news for the Greek citizens. According to the new unified system of payment of pensions, ILIOS, the average pension in Greece is still above the poverty line. It amopunts to 907.65 euro and it is the average sum of the lowest and highest pensions paid in the country.

Although the economy continues to shrink, the Athens Stock Exchange has experienced a small renaissance. On Friday, the financial market closed with 0.98% growth and the stock exchange index reached 986.1 points, whereas turnover exceeded 45 million euro. Profits were recorded by the sectors of technology (3.37%) and food and beverages (3.3%) and losses by the banking sector (-2.58%), chemical industry (-1.78%) and health (-1.33%).

Tags: EconomyMarketsStock exchangeRecessionPensionsGreece
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