German parliament approves 8.50 euro national minimum wage

BERLIN, July 3 Thu Jul 3, 2014 7:27am EDT

BERLIN, July 3 (Reuters) - Germany's lower house of parliament approved on Thursday the introduction of a nationwide minimum wage of 8.50 euros per hour, one of the flagship reforms of Chancellor Angela Merkel's coalition partner, the centre-left Social Democrats.

Of the 601 votes cast, 535 voted in favour of the law, 5 lawmakers voted against it and 61 abstained, according to a deputy leader of the Bundestag. The reform still needs to get approval from the Bundesrat upper house to become law. (Reporting by Annika Breidthardt; Editing by Noah Barkin)