Budgets Committee MEPs approved €6,468,000 in EU aid on Monday to help 557 workers made redundant by the “Larissa” supermarket in Greece to find new jobs. A further 543 young unemployed people should also benefit. The European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) aid still needs to be approved by Parliament as a whole and by the Council of Ministers.
The 422 employees and 135 worker-owners were made redundant when the Larissa cooperative supermarket was declared bankrupt. The bankruptcy and job losses resulted from the falling purchasing power of Greek households and drastic reductions in loans to enterprises and individuals, due to the prolonged global financial and economic crisis which has devastated the Greek economy.
Greece also included 543 young people who are not in employment, education or training (NEETs) in the plans. The measures, co-financed by the EGF and the Greek government, would help the workers and NEETs to find new jobs by providing them with occupational guidance, vocational training, entrepreneurship counselling services, contributions to business start-ups and a variety of allowances.
Most of the redundancies are in the region of Thessaly, where 73.5 % of unemployed people have been unemployed for more than 12 months.
The draft resolution, by rapporteur Liadh Ní Riada (GUE/NGL, IE) was approved by 23 votes to 3, with no abstentions. The plenary vote is scheduled for 26 May, and the Council is set to approve the aid request on 6 June.
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.