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ECONOMIC BRIEFS

Cabinet nixes minimum wage increase

In its November 3 session, the new Slovak Cabinet discussed and passed a proposal to cancel the former Slovak Cabinet's draft law increasing the minimum wage. The issue will be settled later in connection with the 1999 state budget draft, the Cabinet's communiqué reads.

The former cabinet of Vladimír Mečiar approved a bill that revised the minimum wage law on October 20. This bill increased the minimum wage from 3,000 to 4,000 Sk ($90 to $110) per month, or 23.50 Sk per hour, as of January 1999. The increase would also have influenced minimum wage tariffs, maximum and minimum premiums, and the maximum welfare benefits of the unemployed. The huge increase in the minimum wage earned harsh criticism from the former opposition camp.

Brigita Schmögnerová, the new Finance Minister, told journalists that if any increase was approved by the government, it would likely fall into the range of 3,600 to 3,800 Sk.

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