According to a report published by Eurostat, the highest minimum wage is paid in Luxemburg. Furthermore, the difference between the EU-countries in this regard can even be eightfold – states mno.hu. Thus, it is not surprising that many people from Eastern-Europe and Hungary go to the West in order to get higher salaries. The result is labour shortage and demographic decline. A solution could be wage union which aims to raise Eastern-European wages to Western-European level.
Minimum wage: crushing differences between the core and the periphery
In fact, Eurostat did its report in the 22 countries where minimum wage exists and is law-regulated. Clearly, the highest minimum wage, almost
2,000 EUR is paid in Luxemburg while the lowest in Bulgaria, 261 EUR.
Furthermore, Eurostat ranked nations into three categories from the viewpoint of the minimum wage. The first category belongs to those countries where employers have to pay less than 500 EUR. These are Bulgaria (261), Lithuania (400), Romania (408), Latvia (430),
Croatia (462), the Czech Republic (478), Slovakia (480). Even though the minimum wage is a bit higher Estonia (500) and Poland (503) are in this category, too.
The next category includes those countries which prescribe the minimum wage between 500 and 1,000 EUR. These are Portugal (677), Greece (684), Malta (748), Slovenia (843) and Spain (859). The third category is for those countries where employers have to pay more than 1,000 EUR according to the law. These are Great-Britain (1401), France and Germany (1498), Belgium (1563), the Netherlands (1578), Ireland (1614) and Luxemburg (1999).
Compared to this,
the federal minimum wage in the Unites States equals 1,048 EUR.
Furthermore, Eurostat examined and compared purchasing power parity (ppp). In this regard, the most significant difference is threefold because this takes into consideration the difference between the prices, too. However, Luxemburg remained the leader even in this case (1597 pps) while Bulgaria is still at the bottom of the list (546 pps). However, the difference is much lower. Clearly,
in Hungary minimum wage equals 743 pps by which the country obtained the 16th place among the 22 countries.
Wage Union: an answer to the labour shortage and demographic decline?
In fact, the difference between the wages causes an internal migration between the European countries. However, this flow is always one way. This means that people from Eastern-European nations go to the West because of the better wages and working conditions. As a result, the Eastern-European countries lose their most educated, skilled and well-trained workforce. Therefore, the labour shortage is spreading in that half of Europe together with demographic decline.
Thus, it is not surprising that in an Eastern-European country a political party started to collect signatures in order to
bring the question of wage union on the table of the European Commission.
The most significant Hungarian opposition party, Jobbik already succeeded to join forces regional allies for the project, and they have time until May to collect 1 million signatures from 8 EU-member countries altogether. Though the Hungarian government does not support their project, e.g. Oxford professor of economics Péter Róna backs it.
Source: mno.hu, Daily New Hungary