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Thursday, July 3, 2014

Germany Boosts Its Minimum Wage

German Labour and Social Affairs Minister Andrea Nahles (C) and German Chancellor Angela Merkel (C, R) cast their ballot during a vote on a bill for a national minimum wage on July 3 in Berlin. (Clemens Bilan/AFP Photo)

German Labour and Social Affairs Minister Andrea Nahles (center) and German Chancellor Angela Merkel (center right) cast their ballot during a vote on a bill for a national minimum wage on July 3 in Berlin. (Clemens Bilan/AFP Photo)

The German Parliament voted today to set the country’s first national minimum wage, 8.5 euros, which is $11.60 per hour. The new minimum wage will be phased in starting next year.

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government supported the move at the insistence of her government coalition partners, the center-left Social Democrats. The minimum wage passed over arguments that it would hurt Germany’s economy, which is Europe’s largest.

The BBC’s Steve Evans joins Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson from Berlin with an update.

Note: Please download the Here & Now podcast or use the WBUR app to hear this interview.

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