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Greeks Among 38m People in Europe Who Can’t Afford a Vacation

Greeks are among 38 million Europeans who don’t make enough to go on holiday, according to the latest data released by the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC). The data was presented in Greece by the General Confederation of Greek Workers (GSEE).

More specifically, based on an analysis of Eurostat figures by the European Trade Union Institute, the ETUC’s independent research center, Greece together with Lithuania and Romania, have the highest share of workers unable to get away for a week.

Indicatively, in 2019, 41.3 percent of employed Greeks couldn’t afford a holiday and 43.4 percent or an estimated total of 1,629,245 in 2020.

Overall, ETUC analysts note that the share of the total population who could not afford a holiday has increased in over half of the EU’s member states since 2019 with more than 38 million unable to take a break from work. At the same time, the share of employed people who can’t afford a vacation has increased in 11 countries.

An estimated 839,732 people couldn’t go on holiday in Bulgaria in 2020, 191,654 in Denmark, 4,601,587 in Spain, 176,986 in Finland, 613,049 in Croatia, 373,660 in Lithuania, 21,702 in Luxembourg, 178,163 in Latvia, 65,324 in Malta, and 3,925,812 in Romania.

Reasons include the constantly increasing cost of living and inflationary pressures among other factors.

Source: ETUC

Source: ETUC

“Holiday poverty is highly likely to become even worse as a result of the cost-of-living crisis and inflation, underlining the need for workers across Europe to receive a decent pay rise this summer,” said the ETUC.

Meanwhile, in Italy (8 million people), in Spain (4.6 million) and in France (4.1 million) have the highest number of workers missing out on a break for financial reasons.

ETUC: A holiday shouldn’t be a luxury

“It might be summertime, but the living is certainly not easy for millions of working people who can’t afford to take a break with their families despite grafting week in, week out. A holiday shouldn’t be a luxury. Holidays are an important part of ensuring the health and wellbeing of workers, but couldn’t seem further away for many people struggling to simply put food on the table and pay the rent amid the cost-of-living crisis,” said ETUC Deputy General Secretary Esther Lynch.

The ETUC is calling on the EU and national governments to take urgent measures to address the “wage emergency” in Europe.

“The EU and national governments have a responsibility to protect and strengthen collective bargaining as the best way of ensuring that working people get their fair share and can afford to enjoy life rather than simply survive,” said Lynch.

“Without a fair pay rise, employers and politicians will find they return from their own summer holidays to face an autumn of anger followed by a winter of discontent.”

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    And yet, as a foreigner trying to build in Greece, I have struggled to get carpenters, a blacksmith a bricklayer or even an accountant who WANTS TO WORK!!

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