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Brussels pleads with Germany to let wages rise

Workers install parts on Mercedes-Benz cars on the production line at the factory of Daimler AG in Sindelfingen, southwestern Germany, on January 24, 2014Germany must increase workers’ salaries to help its neighbours out of the economic slump, the European Union’s employment commissioner Laszlo Andor said. The Hungarian said Berlin’s big foreign trade surplus was hurting its European partners, and urged it to stimulate domestic demand by increasing wages and public expenditure. “The rise in salaries has fallen behind the rise in productivity in Germany” for more than a decade, Andor told the German conservative daily Die Welt, in an interview due to be published on Sunday. Brussels was now urging Germany, the EU’s economic powerhouse, to relax its iron grip on wages, which he said was “indispensable” for the recovery of the rest of the region.

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