Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said Wednesday his cabinet would approve next week a 22 percent increase in the monthly minimum wage to 1,050 euros ($1,192) in 2019.
The increase, “the biggest since 1977”, will be submitted to a cabinet meeting in Barcelona on December 21, he told parliament.
“A rich country can’t have poor workers,” said Sanchez, who is widely expected to call an early general election next year.
The measure was part of his minority Socialist government’s draft 2019 budget unveiled in October but which he is struggling to pass in parliament so it will now be approved by decree.
The announcement comes after French President Emmanuel Macron unveiled Monday a 100-euro ($113) per month increase in the minimum wage from next year in a major concession to “yellow vest” protests which have roiled the country.
After years of austerity policies imposed to cope with the fallout from the 2008 financial crisis, governments are under increasing pressure to ease the purse strings, especially for the lower paid.
Sanchez’s Socialists control just 84 seats in the 350-seat parliament, the smallest number for a government since the country returned to democracy following dictator Francisco Franco’s death in 1975.
He negotiated the draft 2019 budget with far-left party Podemos, which controls 67 seats, but would still need the support of Catalan separatist parties to pass the spending plan and they have steadfastly refused.
The government estimated the minimum wage hike will cost the state 340 million euros per year.
Employers groups and the conservative opposition parties, the Popular Party (PP) and Ciudadanos, oppose the wage hike, saying it will hurt job creation.
PP leader Pablo Casado has said the 2019 budget, which also includes tax hikes, is “economically suicidal”.
Mexico: Death Toll Rises To 73 In Fuel Pipeline Explosion
The number of people killed in the fuel pipeline explosion that happened on Saturday in Hidalgo, Mexico has risen to 73 while 74 others are severely injured.
Having spent an estimated $3 billion in 2017 in highly publicized war on fuel theft, Mexico’s president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador vowed on Saturday to redouble efforts in his fight against an epidemic of fuel theft that caused the explosion.
“We have to continue with the plan to end fuel theft,” “We will not stop. We will eradicate this.” The president said during a news conference later at the presidential palace in Mexico City.
The government’s strategy has included diverting fuel from the pipelines most heavily targeted by criminal gangs, and transporting it by truck. But the logistical changes have slowed deliveries across the country, causing shortages and long lines at service stations.
Regional Economic Summit Lebanon Overshadowed By Divisions
A Regional Economic Summit Lebanon is preparing to host this weekend has been overshadowed by divisions over Syria’s future and efforts to contain Iran.
Many heads of state now say they will stay away.
The Emirs of Qatar and Kuwait will not attend, Egypt is planning to send the prime minister rather than the president, while the Palestinian authority president has said he will be in New York.
The snub seems to be a message to Iran, whose allies, including Hezbollah, hold power in Lebanon and support the Syrian government.
Iran’s allies saw the talks as an opportunity to bring Syrian president Bashar Al-Assad back into the Arab fold. They were hoping an Arab league foreign minister-level meeting before the summit would provide a chance to hold a vote on Syria’s reinstatement to the regional body.
The Arab league suspended Syria’s membership in 2011 and imposed economic sanctions over its violent crackdown on anti-government protesters before the country descended into civil war. Some countries withdrew their ambassadors.
Colombia: 11 Killed, 65 Injured In A Car Bomb
Colombian officials say 11 persons were killed and 65 others were injured after a car bomb detonated in the capital Bogota.
A high-ranking police official disclosed that the explosion appeared to be the result of a suicide attack.
Police said the driver rammed the vehicle into the grounds of a police academy at full speed and ignored calls to stop. The driver is presumed to have died in the blast, but it is unclear if authorities are counting the attacker in the death toll.
President Ivan Du-Kay has condemned the attack as terrorism and vowed to bring the perpetrators to justice. He has also declared a three-day mourning period.
- Mexico: Death Toll Rises To 73 In Fuel Pipeline Explosion January 20, 2019
- Prime Minister And Cabinet Members Resign In Burkina Faso January 20, 2019
- Regional Economic Summit Lebanon Overshadowed By Divisions January 18, 2019
- Colombia: 11 Killed, 65 Injured In A Car Bomb January 18, 2019
- Facebook Removes Hundreds Of Pages Link To Russian Sites January 18, 2019
African News6 days ago
Ethiopia: Demonstrators Block Highway To Protest Against Ethnic Violence
African News5 days ago
Ethiopia Hit By Fuel Shortage Due To Protest
African News5 days ago
Sudan Protest: Al-Bashir Insists Protest Won’t Solve Economic Problems
Business News5 days ago
China Central Bank Injects $83 Billion Into Economy
African News7 days ago
Anti-Government Protests Death Toll Rises To 24 in Sudan
African News5 days ago
Top Companies And Business Leaders Awarded In Somalia
Nigerian News5 days ago
ASUU Rejects Tokenism As Members Reply FG
African News3 days ago
Gabon: Ali Bongo Back In Morocco To Continue Medical Treatment