Tuesday. 21.05.2024

Four weeks before parliamentary elections in Portugal, Prime Minister António Costa has approved a hike in the monthly minimum wage.

"Around 880,000 workers will benefit from the increase in the national minimum wage to 705 euros [800 dollars] as of today," the Socialist party leader tweeted on Sunday.

It is "an increase of 40 euros - the highest ever" in Portugal, he said.

Converted to the hour, the new minimum wage is close to around 4.40 euros.

By comparison, the hourly minimum wage in Germany stands at 9.82 euros.

40% up in six years

In the six years since he took office, the minimum wage had risen by 40 per cent, said Costa, who reiterated the goal of having a legal minimum wage of 750 euros per month by 2023.

Costa currently leads a minority government.

In early November, Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa called for elections on January 30 after parliament failed to pass Costa's 2022 budget. Had he not done so, the next scheduled election wouldn't have been held until autumn 2023.

Portuguese prime minister raises minimum wage as election nears