Labour Minister Achtsioglou attends OECD-French gov’t forum in Paris

The current Greek government reduced the undocumented labour rate from 20% to 12% and unemployment from 26.5% to 18.9% in 3.5 years, Greek Labour Minister Efi Achtsioglou said on Tuesday at an OECD-French government event she attended on employment strategies in Paris.

She was addressing the High-Level Policy Forum on Jobs Strategy, jointly organised by the French Labour and Economy & Finance Ministries and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

At the forum, which focused on exchanging ideas on effective labor market reforms, Achtsioglou said that in the five years before the current government unemployment skyrocketed from 11% to 27% and wages dropped drastically, eventually leading to a GDP drop of 25%. “We focused on reintroducing collective bargaining, abolished in 2012, and made it our priority because collective bargaining agreements are the main tool to increase wages and create a labour market without exclusions,” she said.

Protecting jobs is fundamental for social cohesion, she added, noting that the government created over 300,000 new jobs and increased growth rate by over 1.5% of the GDP for the first time in a decade.

In Paris the minister also met with her counterparts of Spain and Portugal, and Stefano Scarpetta, OECD’s director for Employment, Labour and Social Affairs.