Belgium tops for minimum wage
29 July 2004, BRUSSELS - Belgium and its Benelux neighbours offer the highest minimum wages in Europe, according to figures released on Thursday.
29 July 2004
BRUSSELS - Belgium and its Benelux neighbours offer the highest minimum wages in Europe, according to figures released on Thursday.
New figures from European Commission's statistical office, Eurostat, show that in the new 25 country European Union, monthly minimum wages vary from EUR 121 in Latvia to EUR 1403 in Luxembourg.
Eighteen EU countries have a minimum wage while Germany, Austria, Finland, Sweden, Italy, Denmark and Cyprus set no lower limit on the amount people can earn.
The Eurostat study divides the Union into three categories, depending on the level of minimum wage guaranteed.
The group of countries offering the lowest wages, between EUR 121 and EUR 207, comprise seven out of the ten new EU countries.
They are Lithuania, Latvia, Slovakia, Estonia, Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic.
The next section, where minimum wages vary from EUR 471 to EUR 605, is made up of Malta, Slovenia, Portugal, Spain and Greece.
The third group guarantees workers a minimum wage of over EUR 1000.
Ireland, the UK, France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg fall into this category.
At EUR 1186, Belgium has the EU's third-highest minimum wage.
Only the Netherlands at EUR 1265 and Luxembourg at EUR 1403 offer more.
By way of comparison, the US minimum wage is EUR 727.
The two countries set to join the Union in 2007 fall way below the EU's current member states when it comes to minimum wages.
In Bulgaria the figure is EUR 61 and in Romania EUR 69.
Turkey ranks better, beating some new EU member states, with its EUR 240 guarantee.
All the figures published by Eurostat concern wages paid before tax and social security have been deducted.
[Copyright Expatica 2004]
Subject: Belgian News