This editorial is also appearing in Kathimerini.
Are high labor costs the main reason behind Greece’s anemic competitiveness? Most entrepreneurs will promptly respond that this is not the case. (I am not referring here to those operating in sectors flooded with clandestine labor who are not bothered by things like the 13th and 14th salaries or the minimum wage.) Meanwhile, the efforts of several labor representatives to appear on the side of the worker sound extremely hypocritical when everyone knows what really goes on within the unions.
Serious businesspeople deem that the root of the problem lies elsewhere. The policy of automatic pay rises for having worked a certain number of years, for example, is a very big problem which has injected a public servant mentality into private sector employees. Reactionary attitudes among union representatives who refuse to grasp the seriousness of the situation also impacts negatively on jobs. The standoff between unions and employers at the Halyvourgia steel plant is reminiscent of past disasters that accelerated the country’s deindustrialization.