European wages: Russia and never dreamed of


Европейские зарплаты: России и не снилось

The lowest minimum wage in the European Union in January of 2018, totaled Euro 261. A “minimal” set in Bulgaria. Despite the fact that over the last ten years, the level of wages in Eastern European countries increased significantly, it is still several times lower than in Northern and Western Europe. A leader in the minimum wage in the EU is Luxembourg with 1999 Euro. In Russia may 1, the minimum wage will be 160 euros.


The EU continues to be extremely heterogeneous Association from the point of view of working conditions. Eastern and southern Europe are significantly larger than those of their Northern and Western neighbors in the minimum wage. This follows from the recently published Eurostat data.

Statistical office of the European Union identifies three groups of countries by level of “minimal salary”. The first includes the 10 Eastern European countries. They have the size of the minimum wage is the lowest in the EU.

The absolute outsider is Bulgaria with €261 as of January 2018. Followed by Lithuania (€400), Romania (408 euros), Latvia (430 euros), Hungary (445 euros), Croatia (462 euros), Czech Republic (478 Euro), Slovakia (480 euros), Estonia (500 euros) and Poland (EUR 503).

In five other member States located in the South of Europe, the minimum wage ranged from 600 to 900 euros a month, said Eurostat: Portugal (677 EUR), Greece (684 Euro), Malta (748 euros), Slovenia (843 euros) and Spain (EUR 859).

Feel their best workers in the Northern and Western countries of the continent. The minimum wage in the UK was 1401 the Euro, Germany and France — 1498 euros, Belgium — 1563 Euro, the Netherlands — 1578 Euro Ireland — Euro 1614. The absolute leader — Luxembourg from 1999 Euro per month.

Eurostat provides also for comparison the minimum wage in the United States — 1048 euros per month in January 2018.

On 1 January 2018 from 28 member States of the EU the minimum wage has not been established in Denmark, Italy, Cyprus, Austria, Finland and Sweden.


It is worth noting that over the past ten years in Eastern Europe, the size of the minimal wage increased by 1.5-3 times. But it is only allowed to narrow the gap with rich countries. If the minimum is in Poland in 2008 was 313 euros, which was 4.2 times lower than, for example, in Belgium, but now the difference is 3.1 times.

The only EU country where the minimum wage over the decade has not increased, became Greece. In 2008, the worker in this country received no less than 794 euros, and in early 2018 — 684 euros.

This is due to the severe economic crisis in which Greece resides for many years. Since 2008 the country’s GDP fell continuously — with the exception of 2014. And the decline in 2011 was 9.1%, in 2012 was 7.3 per cent. Data for last year yet, but according to forecasts, growth should reach 1.5% to 1.8%.


The crisis of this depth have not experienced any state of the EU in the new century. In Greece, many believe that a significant part of the problems caused by austerity measures imposed by the country’s creditors (IMF, EU, etc.).

To the situation with salaries were not so pessimistic, Eurostat emphasizes that the gap between East-South and North-West will be lower if recalculated at purchasing power parity.

“By eliminating the difference in prices, the minimum wage ranged from 546 points in a month in Bulgaria to 1597 points in Luxembourg, which means that the highest minimum wage was almost three times higher than the lowest”, — stated in the message Department.

But residents of Eastern Europe such reservations is not very impressive — many countries continue to experience large-scale emigration, primarily of able-bodied citizens, which in the end and give birth to children not at home and in Belgium or Germany.

For example, the population of Bulgaria declined from 7.5 million people in 2008 to 7.1 million in 2017, the population of Latvia has decreased from 2.2 million to 1.95 million, Lithuania — from 3.2 to 2.85 million, Romania has lost over the same period, one million people (20.6 million was in 2008, 19.6 million remained in 2017), Croatia — 154 thousand, Poland — 118 thousand.

It should be noted that a significant part of intra-European migrants in their countries continue to be considered as a permanent population, although in fact will never return to Slupsk of the Polish, Lithuanian or Bulgarian city of Petrich.

In Russia, the minimum wage does not hold out long even to the bottom level of the EU. Even after may 1 of this year, it will be installed on the subsistence level, its value will be 11,163 thousand rubles. or 160 Euro.

To the level highest in Eastern Europe, the Polish of the minimal wage in euros 503 falls short only of the average monthly salary in Russia. According to Rosstat, in January it amounted to 38.4 thousand rubles, or about 550 euros.

The level of Eastern Europe Russian salaries corresponded to the devaluation of the 2014-2015 year. But the minimum wage was even less than now. Given the current trends in the economy, it is unlikely Russia will be able to even catch up with Bulgaria in the medium term.


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