Sunday, 24 October 2021 | News today: 0

Slovenian MPs pass ten percent minimum wage rise

Slovenia’s parliament on Thursday approved a phased ten percent increase in the minimum wage, as the eurozone country’s economy continues to rebound from a 2013 crisis with its fifth year of growth.

With 56 votes in favour and no votes against, the 90-seat parliament approved raising the minimum wage from its current level of 638 euros ($725) per month after tax to 667 euros, starting in January 2019.

In 2020, the rate will increase to 700 euros. In addition, some bonuses which are currently included as part of the minimum wage will be excluded, according to the bill presented to MPs by the left-wing Levica Party.

The party has five seats in parliament and its votes were key in installing Prime Minister Marjan Sarec’s five-party minority coalition government in August.

“Slovenia is enjoying one of the (EU’s) highest rates of economic growth and it is only right that workers feel that too,” Labour Minister Ksenija Klampfer said, backing Levica’s proposal.

The issue of workers’ wages had been a key theme in elections this spring that eventually resulted in Sarec’s coalition government being formed.

After narrowly avoiding a eurozone bailout in 2013, Slovenia’s economy has staged a strong recovery with GDP growth expected to reach 4.4 percent this year, after 4.9 percent growth in 2017.

There has been upward pressure on wages across Europe in recent months, with inflation in the eurozone due to hit 1.8 percent in 2018, according to a forecast released by the European Central Bank on Thursday.

In a concession to the “yellow jackets” protests that have rocked France, on Monday French President Emmanuel Macron announced a 100-euro ($113) per month increase in the minimum wage there from next year.

On Wednesday the Socialist government in Spain announced a 22 percent hike in the minimum wage as of 2019, calling it the biggest rise in over four decades.