Angela Merkel clears way for national minimum wage

German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks at the Sueddeutsche Zeitung leadership conference on November 21, 2013 in Berlin, Germany Angela Merkel spoke at the Sueddeutsche Zeitung leadership conference in Berlin

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The German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, has signalled the likely introduction of a national minimum wage in Germany.

Mrs Merkel, speaking at a meeting of business leaders, said that it was clear that the opposition SPD "would not conclude coalition negotiations without a legal minimum wage".

The chancellor's own party has long opposed a national minimum wage.

Negotiations to form a new government after elections in September are continuing between the two parties.

Mrs Merkel was giving the opening address at a conference of business leaders organised by the Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper.

The chancellor was sending a signal to the Social Democrats (SPD) that she is prepared to compromise, the paper writes.

The outcome of the election meant that a grand coalition between the SPD and Mrs Merkel's Christian Democrats, along with their Bavarian sister party, is the most feasible governing combination.

The CDU's coalition partner in the outgoing German government, the Free Democrats, failed to win any seats in the new Bundestag.

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