Macedonia sets minimum wage

05/10/2011

Workers in Macedonia must be paid at least 130 euros per month. Also in business news: Finnish telecom giant Nokia will close one of its Romanian plants.
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Workers in Macedonia now have a minimum wage. [Reuters]

For the first time, labour unions, employers and the Macedonian government agreed to set a minimum wage in the country. Under the deal, announced by Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski on Saturday (October 1st), workers must be paid at least 130 euros monthly. The agreement will increase the incomes of about 65,000 workers whose pay is not up to this standard. The law on the minimum wage is due to enter into force in 2012.

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Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz announced on Saturday (October 1st) that his country has decided to discontinue an existing contract for natural gas supplies with Russian giant Gazprom. The decision came as the Russian side refused to lower the price of its deliveries. In 2010, Russian gas supplies to Ankara amounted to 18 billion cubic metres.

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The eurozone finance ministers urged Greece on Monday (October 3rd) to take further austerity measures and move on with privatisation efforts to fill forecasted gaps in its 2013 and 2014 budgets. Thus, they delayed a decision about the next 8 billion-euro tranche of the country's 110 billion-euro bailout package until October 13th at the earliest.

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Finnish telecom giant Nokia confirmed on Thursday (September 29th) it is closing its mobile phone plant in the northwestern Romanian town of Jucu by the end of this year. The move is seen as a major blow to Romania's ambitions to become a leading hi-tech hub in the region. It will affect about 2,200 workers. The plant opened in September 2008 after an initial investment of 60m euros.

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Montenegrin Finance Minister Milorad Katnic said that his country will be the world's fastest growing tourism destination "with an average growth rate above 5% in the coming ten years". Katnic also forecasted that this year Podgorica will register economic growth that would match, or even exceed, last year's 2.5%, largely due to the tourism boom it is experiencing.

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Albania's Central Bank announced last week that it is lowering its benchmark interest rate by 25 basis points -- from 5.25% to 5%. Governor Ardian Fullani explained the decision aims to boost the economy by stimulating consumer spending and investments.

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Bulgaria's telecom regulator announced on Monday (October 3rd) that it is holding a tender for a 3G mobile phone network to pave the way for a fourth mobile operator on the local market. Bids will be accepted until December 4th. The price for a 15-year license has been set at around 25m euros. Currently, there are three mobile operators in Bulgaria, all of them foreign-owned.

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Kosovo's Minister of Environment and Spatial Planning Dardan Gashi announced that the government has filed charges against a cement factory on accusations it is not monitoring emissions. According to Gashi, the move against SharrCem is part of the government's efforts to take care of "the environment and the health of the people".

(Various sources -- 28/09/11-05/10/11)

This content was commissioned for SETimes.com.
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