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Experts: New rule | pollball com ผล บอล สด ภาษา ไทย และ | Updated: 2024-07-24 05:30:08

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis attends the plenary session in Stansstad near Lucerne, Switzerland, June 16, 2024. [Photo/Agencies]

Many workers in Greece will be forced to toil for six days a week, instead of five, as the nation grapples with a shrinking population and shortage of skilled employees.

The country's new six-day working week that began on July 1 only applies to private enterprises that offer round-the-clock services in certain industries and at some manufacturing facilities as well as in the retail and agriculture sectors.

Employees who are asked to work a 48-hour week instead of 40 will be able to either stretch their existing five-day week by an additional two hours a day or work an extra eight-hour shift.

And they will get 40 percent of their normal day's pay for the extra day.

Greece's government said the move was aimed at boosting productivity.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis told lawmakers it would help address a shortage of workers caused primarily by emigration, in which around half a million young people left the country in the wake of Greece's debt crisis that began in late 2009.

"The nucleus of this legislation is worker-friendly, it is deeply growth-oriented," he said. "And it brings Greece in line with the rest of Europe."

But the center-right government's critics disagree, saying the move is out of step with other European nations that are shortening their working weeks.

Akis Sotiropoulos, an executive committee member of the civil servants' union Adedy, told The Guardian newspaper: "It makes no sense whatsoever. When almost every other civilized country is enacting a four-day week, Greece decides to go the other way."

He pointed to Belgium, which has given workers the legal right to work four days instead of five, and to pilot programs for four-day working weeks in Canada, Germany, Japan, South Africa, and the United Kingdom.

Opponents of the trend-bucking idea have taken to the streets to protest what they say is a watering down of Greece's labor laws and workers' rights.

But unions have struggled to mount a meaningful defense because their power has been greatly diminished in recent years as a result of austerity measures introduced in the wake of the debt crisis.

Conditions attached to loans taken out by the country because of its financial crisis have meant workers have had to accept frozen collective agreements and the introduction of individual employment contracts.

Greece's minimum monthly wage has fallen sharply, with the current 830 euros ($887) a month low by European standards, raking the nation 15th out of the European Union's 27 members, despite its high cost of living.

Critics say the country's diminished labor laws have also fueled more accidents in the workplace, with the 179 workers killed in accidents at work during 2023 significantly up from the 104 fatalities in 2022.

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