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Merkel wins party support on minimum wage, euro stability


08:41, November 15, 2011

BERLIN, Nov. 14 (Xinhua) -- German ruling party CDU was committed in principle to implementing the minimum wage, only stopped short of specifying its concrete amount at its national congress convention in Leipzig on Monday.

Some 1,000 delegates voted overwhelmingly in favor of the lowest wage bottom, with only four against and eight abstentions.

According to initially-drawn plans, it is up to a special committee composed of employers and the labor unions to negotiate appropriate wage floors, in which a collective agreement to a fixed wage level has not reached.

As the previous plan on hourly wage at around seven euros was eventually given up, it came as a compromise after a long dispute in the minimum wage issue prior to the CDU Congress is convened.

"We want the deal on the minimum wage floor being agreed upon through negotiation between both the employers and the employees in accordance with the market economic approach, instead of a politically-motivated one," as the Congress set the tone.

However, the bill has still to wait the approval from the legislature before it becomes legally binding, while the FDP, a coalition partner of the CDU, has spoken out strongly against minimum wages.

Angela Merkel gained obvious great majority of support from CDU Congress on her pan-European stance, with only 9 votes against and 19 abstentions.

The CDU Congress also argues in its decision for amendments to the European treaties and harsher sanctions for violations of the euro-stability criteria, as it stipulated that if a country is not willing or unable to abide by the regulations, it would be allowed for an exit from the euro zone but not necessarily have to quit the European Union.

According to the plans of the CDU party congress, in the future the European Court of Justice (ECJ) will be able to impose penalties for any breaches of the eurozone Stability Pact, and the bankrupt states should be restructured with the help of a new " savings commissioner" of the EU Commission, as it is bestowed with the direct invention right under urgent circumstance to take specific steps to the countries affected.

Merkel had devoted much of her conference speech to European politics, as it was described as "historic test" for the Europeans to overcome the euro debt crisis. She also called for further development of European frameworks of disciplines, setting more requirements for Europe.

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