550 media workers dismissed by three publishing companies in Greece will receive EU aid worth €2,308,500 to help them find new jobs.

The aid will be used to finance a series of measures co-financed by the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF). These measures will help the 550 workers find new jobs by providing them with occupational guidance, training, retraining and vocational training, specific advice towards entrepreneurship, contributions to business start-ups and a variety of allowances. All the redundant workers are expected to participate in the measures.

All the redundancies occurred in Attica, which accounts for 35% of total Greek unemployment and for 36% of long term unemployment. In total, 15% of the workers made redundant are over 55 years old, and 42% are women, says the draft report by Eider Gardiazabal Rubial (S&D, ES). They were employed by the three enterprises “Lambrakis Press SA (DOL)”, “Ethnos Publications SA” and “Pegasus Magazines Publications”.

Over the period 2011-2017, daily and periodical press sales plummeted in Greece. Newspaper sales fell from 144 million copies in 2011 to 57 million in 2017 and magazine sales fell from 60 million copies to 23 million.

Greece argues that the steady decline is the consequence of the global economic and financial crisis, which still affects the Greek economy (decline in per capita real GDP, rising unemployment, decreasing salaries and reduced household income etc.), coupled with the rapid digital evolution, which is transforming the publishing sector.

The total estimated cost of the package is €3.8 million, of which the EGF would provide €2.3 million (60%).

The draft report by Eider Gardiazabal Rubial, recommending that Parliament approve the aid, was passed by the Budgets Committee on Wednesday by 28 votes to 3, and no abstentions.

To take effect, the aid has to be approved by a plenary vote in Parliament, scheduled for 29 November, and by the Council.

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.