In January 2019, Bulgaria had the lowest gross minimum wage in the European Union, at the equivalent of 286 euro before taxes are deducted, EU statistics agency Eurostat said on February 1.
As of January 1 2019, twenty-two out of the 28 EU countries had national minimum wages: only Denmark, Italy, Cyprus, Austria, Finland and Sweden did not.
The 22 EU member states that have national minimum wages can be divided into three main groups based on the level in euro, Eurostat said.
Monthly minimum wages were generally below 600 euro in east and above 1400 euro in northwest of the EU.
Nine EU countries, like Bulgaria all also located in the east of the EU, followed with minimum wages between 400 euro and around 600 euro a month: Latvia (430 euro), Romania (446 euro), Hungary (464 euro), Croatia (506 euro), the Czech Republic (519 euro), Slovakia (520 euro), Poland (523 euro), Estonia (540 euro) and Lithuania (555 euro).
In five other member states, in the south of the EU, minimum wages ranged between 650 euro and just more than 1000 euro a month: Greece (684 euro), Portugal (700 euro), Malta (762 euro), Slovenia (887 euro) and Spain (1050 euro).
In the remaining seven member states, all in the west and north of the EU, minimum wages were above 1450 euro a month: the United Kingdom (1453 euro), France (1521 euro), Germany (1557 euro), Belgium (1594 euro), the Netherlands (1616 euro), Ireland (1656 euro) and Luxembourg (2071 euro).
Across the 22 member states concerned, the highest minimum wage in the EU was more than seven times higher than the lowest, Eurostat said.
“However, the disparities in minimum wages across the EU member states are considerably smaller once price level differences are eliminated: minimum wages in member states with lower price levels become relatively higher when expressed in purchasing power standard (PPS), and relatively lower in member states with higher price levels,” Eurostat said.
By eliminating price differences, minimum wages ranged from 557 PPS per month in Bulgaria to 1646 PPS in Luxembourg, meaning that the highest minimum wage was almost three times higher than the lowest, the statistics agency said.
(Photo: Clive Leviev-Sawyer)