EU Minimum wages highlight huge differences in bloc; Poor Bulgaria vs wealthy Luxembourg

Economic Indicators Associated Press

Minimum wages across the European Union highlight the vast economic differences across the member states with a ten-fold difference between Bulgaria and Luxembourg.

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The EU's statistical agency Eurostat said Thursday that while the minimum monthly wage in January stood at 184 euros ($208) in Bulgaria, it was 1,923 euros ($2,176) in Luxembourg. The minimum wage is the lowest wage that employers have to pay their workers.

Ten nations still had minimum wages below 500 euros ($566), all east European nations that joined the EU over the past decade. Of the 22 of 28 member states that have minimum wages, seven had thresholds well above 1,000 euros ($1,132).

Compared with 2008, Greece was the only nation where the minimum wage decreased — from 794 euros ($898) to 684 euros ($774).