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  • Workers affected were dismissed by nine retail businesses in 11 regions
  • Job losses were consequence of significant fall in retail sales since 2008
  • EU funds to cover start-up contributions, vocational training and placement subsidies

725 former employees laid off in Greece by nine companies should receive EU aid worth €2,949,150, following a Budgets Committee vote on Wednesday.

The workers concerned had all been employed in supermarkets or retail shops, selling household appliances or food, owned by nine different businesses. Between 2008 and 2015, the retailers suffered from the decreasing purchasing power of Greek households, due to the economic crisis. According to the Greek National Bank, retail sales dropped by up to 60 percent in parts of the sector. Across the country, 11 regions, including Crete and Central Greece, are affected by the redundancies.

 

The aid from the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) will cover 60 percent of the total cost. Of those individuals affected, 85.2 percent are above the age of 55, an age at which it may become more difficult to find a new job.

 

Five types of measures are planned by the Greek authorities: occupational guidance, training, retraining and vocational training, help with business start-ups, job search allowances and training allowances, and job creation subsidies.

 

The draft report by the Committee on Budgets, was adopted by 31 votes to 3, with no abstentions.

 

 

Next steps

 

To take effect, the aid has to be approved by the Parliament as a whole on 30 November, as well as by the Council on the same date.

 

Quick Facts

 

The European Globalisation Adjustment Fund contributes to packages of tailor-made services to help redundant workers find new jobs. Its annual ceiling is €150 million. 

Redundant workers are offered measures such as support for business start-ups, job-search assistance, occupational guidance and various kinds of training. In most cases, national authorities have already started the measures and will have their costs reimbursed by the EU when their applications are finally approved.