Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Nearly 30% in EU cannot afford a holiday: study

Nearly 30% in EU cannot afford a holiday: study

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Tourists pull their luggage in Monterosso, nortwestern Italy. Holiday inequality has grown in 16 member states over the last decade, according to a recent study. AFP

Nearly 30% in EU cannot afford a holiday: study

Some 28 per cent of people living in the EU cannot afford to go away on holiday for a week, according to a study published on Monday by the European Trade Union Confederation.

For those with income at or below the “at-risk-of-poverty threshold” – including “millions” of low-paid workers, pensioners and the unemployed – the proportion is as much as 59.5 per cent, the study found.

“While access to holidays has grown over the last decade, the majority of low-income families remain excluded,” ETUC said, in an analysis based on data from the EU’s official Eurostat statistics agency.

“Statutory minimum wages leave workers at risk of poverty in at least 16 EU member states,” it said.

People are deemed to be at risk of poverty if they earn less than 60 per cent of median income, and EU data showed that 22 million workers fell into that category.

The ETUC said Greece was the EU country with the highest proportion – 88.9 per cent – of people living at risk of poverty who cannot afford a vacation, followed by Romania with 86.8 per cent, Croatia with 84.7 per cent and Cyprus with 79.2 per cent.

It calculated that seven million Italians were unable to afford a holiday, 4.7 million Spaniards, 4.3 million Germans and 3.6 million French workers.

“Holiday inequality has grown in 16 member states over the last decade between those with income below 60 per cent of median and those with income above that threshold,” the union umbrella body said.

The ETUC backs a draft directive the EU is considering to ensure minimum wages in the bloc are sufficient to live on, legislation which is to be debated by the European Parliament after the European summer vacation period ends.

The ETUC’s deputy secretary general, Esther Lynch, said vacations “should not be a luxury for the few”.

“The EU adequate minimum wages directive needs to be strengthened to ensure that wages are never so low that they leave workers living in poverty and collective bargaining is made a routine part of employment to ensure genuinely fair wages for all,” she said.

The proposed EU directive foresees binding rules on 21 of the 27 EU member states that have a legal minimum wage.

It does not, however, fix a standard minimum level across the bloc, nor does it require the six countries without a statutory minimum wage – Austria, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, Italy and Sweden – to adopt one.


  • Bareknuckle champion wants Kun Khmer fighter

    Dave Leduc, who is the current openweight Lethwei boxing champion in Myanmar, has announced that he will travel to Cambodia this year to challenge SEA Games gold medallist Prum Samnang any time that is convenient, after their planned match later this month in Slovakia was

  • Five-year-old Hanuman dances his way into hearts of Cambodia

    A young talent from a new-established settlement has emerged, captivating the online world with his mesmerising performances of the traditional Cambodian monkey dance. Roeun Kakada is a five-year-old prodigy who has taken the social media sphere by storm with his exceptional dance skills and dedication

  • Fresh Covid warnings as Thai hospital fills

    A senior health official reminds the public to remain vigilant, as neighbouring countries experience an increase in Covid-19 cases, with the latest surge appearing to be a result of the Omicron XBB.1.5 sub-variant. Or Vandine, secretary of state and spokeswoman for the Ministry of Health,

  • Honda shutters Siem Reap football club

    Japanese football legend Keisuke Honda, the owner of Siem Reap football club Soltilo Angkor FC, has been forced to shut the club down, after it failed to attract sponsorship for the upcoming season. Honda, the former manager of the Cambodia men's national football team, said

  • Hun Sen warns of regional tensions

    ASIA is becoming a dangerous geopolitical hotspot, with several countries announcing that they intend to send naval vessels towards Southeast Asia and on to the South China Sea, warned Prime Minister Hun Sen. “Heated geopolitical issues can easily escalate, namely to war. I am not

  • PM declares ASEAN Para Games open

    The 12th ASEAN Para Games officially kicked off on the evening of June 3 at Morodok Techo National Stadium in Phnom Penh, with a spectacular opening ceremony featuring fireworks and performances by some of the Kingdom’s most accomplished talents. Tens of thousands of sports fans