Tourism: 28% of European citizens cannot go on holiday for financial reasons

According to a study published on Monday by the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), nearly 28% of European citizens cannot afford to spend a week’s vacation away from home, with the figure rising to 60% for the working poor.

For these workers whose income is below the poverty line, that is, less than 60% of the average income, this situation is “worrisome” in Greece, with 88.9% of people at risk of poverty who cannot afford to go on vacation, European Confederation Notes. It is followed by Romania (86.8%), Croatia (84.7%), Cyprus (79.2%) and Slovakia (76.1%), ETUC said in a press release.

The disparity in terms of leave between the poorest workers and the rest has “increased in 16 member states over the past decade”, continues the organization, which is based on Eurostat data.

The largest differences in access to holidays between average and other low-income workers are found in Croatia, Greece, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, France and Romania.

Esther Lynch, deputy secretary general of the ETUC, commented, “The increasing inequalities suggest that the benefits of economic growth in Europe have not been fairly distributed over the past decade”.

The ETUC is campaigning to strengthen a proposal for a European Directive aimed at reforming low wages in the EU, which is to be examined by the European Parliament later this summer. The trade union confederation calls for the introduction of a “civilization threshold” that would ensure that the statutory minimum wage could never be less than 60% of the average wage and 50% of the average wage in any member state.

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Currently 17 EU member states have a legal minimum wage of less than 60% of the national average wage, she emphasizes.

The European Directive’s proposal provides binding rules for 21 EU countries that already have a minimum wage to fuel their growth, but does not set a uniform European minimum.

Nor does it mandate the introduction of a minimum wage in six countries (Austria, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, Italy, Sweden).

The ETUC represents 45 million members of 89 national trade union organizations in 39 European countries as well as ten European trade union associations.

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