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Spain's government says it will approve a 22% increase in minimum wage

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Spain's government says it will approve a 22% increase in minimum wage
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The Spanish government has announced that it will approve an increase in the minimum wage of 22%, meaning it will go up from €813 to €900-a-month.

The rise is due to take effect from in January 2019.

Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez made the announcement on Wednesday.

The increase was agreed jointly with the left-wing Podemos party as part of the socialist prime minister's efforts to secure sufficient parliamentary support for his proposed 2019 budget.

The wage increase, initially expected to be formally decided on December 28, will be approved by decree as the cabinet exceptionally meets in Barcelona on December 21, in what Sanchez said was a sign that his government wanted to boost “prosperity for all territories”.

The Catalan regional administration has faced anti-austerity protests over the past weeks.

Tensions over the region, where there is substantial support for independence, are one of the thorniest issues facing Sanchez, who controls fewer than a quarter of seats in parliament.

His socialist party needs the support of smaller parties to pass legislation such as the budget proposal.