New Czech cabinet raises minimum wage as one of first steps: agency

Reuters News
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Posted: Jul 16, 2013 2:47 PM
New Czech cabinet raises minimum wage as one of first steps: agency

PRAGUE (Reuters) - The new Czech cabinet of leftist Prime Minister Jiri Rusnok raised the minimum wage on Tuesday as one of its first decisions since being appointed last week, news agency CTK said.

The previous center-right cabinet resisted trade unions' calls for such a step for years.

The government voted to raise the minimum gross monthly wage by 500 crowns to 8,500, the first rise since 2007, the agency said. The minimum wage applies to about 120,000 people in the country of 10.5 million, it said.

Rusnok's cabinet replaces a center-right coalition led by Petr Necas, who resigned last month after his close aide was charged with bribery and spying.

Rusnok, a former finance minister and a long-term ally of leftist President Milos Zeman, does not have the support of parliamentary parties and is likely to lose a vote of confidence expected around August 8.

But his cabinet may stay in power for weeks or months after that as parties and the president haggle over the next government or the parliament votes to hold an early election.

(Reporting by Jan Lopatka; editing by Ron Askew)