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24th Jan 2020

Commissioner calls for minimum wages across EU

EU economic and monetary affairs commissioner Joaquin Almunia has mooted the idea of minimum wages being introduced in each of the 27 member states across the European Union.

"Every country in the EU should have a minimum wage," Mr Almunia told the German weekly Die Zeit in an interview released ahead of publication on Thursday (5 July), according to wire reports.

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Whilst only 20 EU member states currently have a set level of minimum wages, Mr Almunia suggested that each EU member state could be obliged to fix its own appropriate level.

He conceded however that any such move is not likely to be implemented in the near future as a number of member states are currently against the idea.

"But it would be theoretically possible and correct if we in the EU were to oblige each member state to set their own minimum wage," he added.

In the eurozone's largest economy, Germany, salary agreements are traditionally negotiated sector by sector.

It is one of the few major world economies without a minimum wage.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel's coalition government is divided over the issue.

Whilst the conservative CDU opposes such an idea fearing it would cost jobs, the social democrats in the ruling coalition are in favour of introducing it.

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