Germany's first minimum wage
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has approved the country's first
minimum wage, at 8.50 euros an hour (£7; $11.75), to start in 2015. At
present, the country is one of seven in the 28-nation EU without a
minimum wage level. Germany has relied on trade unions and business
groups to fix pay instead. Mrs Merkel's conservative Christian Democrats
approved the change as part of a power-sharing deal with the Social
The SPD was in favour of the move, but the conservative CDU and CSU
parties had been keen to keep the status quo. Parliament is expected to
debate the proposal this summer. It will then move to the upper house
for approval in September.
Economists said higher wages in Europe's biggest economy could help
people spend more and stimulate the economy, promoting economic growth.