The Swiss canton of Geneva will apply from Saturday the minimum wage of 23 francs (about 21 euros) per hour, about 3,700 euros per month, the highest minimum wage in the world.
According to the Efe agency, the establishment of a minimum hourly wage was approved in a regional referendum in late September and only applies to the canton of Geneva, where 80,000 voters, about 58% of those who went to the polls, said yes to the “23 francs is the minimum ”.
In a country with a liberal tradition like Switzerland, only Geneva – one of the most expensive cities in the world – and two other cantons of the 26 that are part of the country have a minimum wage, and the Genevans themselves had refused to fix one in previous referendums (2011 and 2014).
The change of opinion was associated by analysts to the crisis situation created by the pandemic of covid-19, according to the agency Efe.
According to the French-speaking daily Le Temps, quoted by the Efe agency, the coming economic crisis has led many Genevans to fear that wage conditions will worsen.
The pandemic also made the population value many essential jobs, such as those in the health sector, according to Efe.
The city of Geneva, with an economy highly dependent on high-class tourism associated with international business and diplomacy, is always at the top of the list of the most expensive cities in the world, often competing with Zurich, Singapore or Hong Kong.
According to the Efe agency, renting an apartment in Geneva is rarely less than 2,000 euros a month and there is no social security, so each person must have private health insurance, which for a middle-aged person exceeds 500 euros a month in installments. basic.
So far, the highest minimum wage in the world has been 12.1 euros an hour guaranteed for Australian workers, which would translate to around 2,180 euros a month, a figure now surpassed in Geneva.
The minimum wage in the Swiss city will also contrast with those in the European Union, where neighboring countries in Switzerland, such as Italy or Austria, have no minimum wage, and a country with a high cost of living like Luxembourg has set it at 2,141 euros a month.
The minimum wage in Ireland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and France varies between 1,706 Irish euros and 1,539 euros, according to Eurostar data.
In the remaining countries, only Spain exceeds 1,000 euros, with 1,108, close to the 1,122 in the United States.
In Portugal, the national minimum wage is 635 euros.