Berlin: Germany is set to introduce a national minimum wage, conservative Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday, relenting on a key demand of her likely future centre-left governing partners.
"The Social Democrats will not conclude negotiations without a universal legal minimum wage," she said about ongoing talks to form a `grand coalition` government.
She stressed that her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) had opposed such a move and added that she and her party would "try everything to prevent the loss of jobs through this measure".
Merkel won September 22 elections but fell narrowly short of a governing majority, forcing her CDU and its Bavarian partners the CSU to enter into coalition talks with the Social Democratic Party (SPD).
In the talks, SPD chief Sigmar Gabriel, Merkel`s likely future vice chancellor, has insisted on a minimum wage of at least 8.50 euros (USD 11.40) to help a growing army of working poor.
The SPD has promised to put any coalition deal up for a vote to its sceptical party base.
Merkel`s party favours separate pay deals by industrial sector and region, arguing that a national minimum wage would destroy jobs.
First Published: Thursday, November 21, 2013, 19:25