July 27, 2021

The Commissioner of Employment recommends being very cautious before raising the minimum wage

The Commissioner of Employment recommends being very cautious before raising the minimum wage

The European Commissioner for Employment, Marianne Thyssen, warns in an interview with Efe that "we must be very cautious" before raising the Minimum Interprofessional Salary (SMI), to avoid causing consequences such as job destruction.

"We are in favor of establishing minimum wages but whether or not it is positive to raise the amount depends on the circumstances, is something that should be studied carefully and after talking with the social partners so that it does not become a problem for employment," said Thyssen in Helsinki, where she has participated in the Congress of the European People's Party, of which the Belgian is vice-president.

"It's not a candy (raise the minimum wage) You have to be very cautious because it can have consequences that you have to anticipate", added Thyssen, who pointed out that to establish that SMI at too high a level for the labor market "can cause that create fewer new jobs. "

The European Commission calculated on Wednesday in its economic forecasts that the rise of the SMI to 900 euros per month will create between 70,000 and 80,000 fewer jobs in two years (2019 and 2020).

Beyond the first forecasts regarding other social and fiscal measures included in the new Spanish budgets, Thyssen was prudent.

"We will see what measures the new government takes," said the European Commissioner for Employment, who said that Brussels "only judges the decisions that are made" and "not the political color" of governments.

According to Thyssen, the EC "makes recommendations on concrete facts", regardless of the ideology of the European governments.

The European Commissioner for Employment highlighted the fall in unemployment in Spain in recent years and the fact that it is one of the "fastest growing" countries. "We'll see if that trend continues," he added.

The Belgian policy said that while in some countries like the Czech Republic unemployment is almost nil, in Greece and Spain unemployment percentages remain too high.

All in all, Thyssen asked Europeans for "perspective" before the next European elections.

"There are 238.9 million euros in the labor market across the EU, we have never had so many people working, even when the crisis had not yet started," he said.

Asked if the fact that economic difficulties and unemployment persist for a large number of Europeans is not a direct cause of the rise of populisms, Thyssen called to "observe the situation five years ago and now" and the "need to adequately explain" everything that has been set in motion. "

"Of course we are worried about populisms, times are difficult, changing, people are afraid of their children's future and of keeping their work, and populists give them attractive slogans but they do not bring solutions," he said.

Thyssen pointed out the importance of "reconnecting" with citizens instead of "attacking the very existence of the European Union".

Regarding the work done in his department, Thyssen highlighted the "commitment" reached by the EC, the European Parliament, employers and trade unions, as well as by governments, with the so-called "European social pillar", with which we want to improve the life of Workers.

"It is true that it will not be finalized in this term (…) but the commitment is," Thyssen said, on the adoption and pending implementation of initiatives such as transparent and predictable working conditions directives, that of the European Labor Authority or the so-called conciliation package.

Thyssen, satisfied with the election this week as candidate of the EPP to the European Commission, Manfred Weber, said at the same time to Efe that it is "a pity" that neither of the two large European families have bet on women candidates.

"I would like to have seen a feminine candidacy … but what I hope is who the president of the EC is, there are as many women commissioners as there are men," he said.

Thyssen recalled that Jose Manuel Durao Barroso tried in his day a joint community executive, but that it is also necessary for governments to send women candidates to the position.


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