Low wages, the flip-side to Germany's economic miracle
BERLIN (AFP) - Chancellor Angela Merkel often boasts during the campaign for Sept 22 elections that Germany has one of Europe's lowest jobless rates - at around 6.8 percent. But it comes at a price.
As many as three million people in Europe's top economy earn less than six euros (S$10) per hour, meaning Germany has one of the biggest shares of low wages in Europe, a fact that Ms Merkel's critics have jumped on in the campaign.
"We've become a country of low wages," sighs charity worker Renate Stark, who everyday confronts the struggle of workers paid too little to make ends meet, despite Germany's booming economy.
From pizza deliverers earning an hourly six euros, to young journalists on less than 750 euros a month, the 55-year-old social assistant for the Catholic Caritas organisation in Berlin can reel off many such examples.