Dec. 12 (UPI) -- Spain will raise the country's monthly minimum wage by 22 percent for 2019, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announced Wednesday.
Sanchez said he would approve a measure during a Cabinet meeting next week to increase the minimum wage from $835 a month to $1,023 a month, stating "a rich country cannot have poor workers."
After being approved at the Dec. 21 meeting, the measure will be authorized by royal decree, without the need for approval by Parliament.
Many workers in Spain receive payment for 14 months of work -- the standard 12 months with extra payments in July and December -- meaning the annual minimum salary would rise to $14,331 under the new wage conditions.
The increase will be the largest in the country since 1977, as Sanchez and his government seek to secure their budget plans for 2019.
Spanish anti-austerity party Podemos agreed to the terms, hailing the minimum wage increase as a victory. The party's General Secretary, Ramón Espinar, called the measure "the first step to balance the scales."
The increase places Spain's minimum wage ahead of Greece, Poland and neighboring Portugal, but behind the Britain, Germany and France.
French President Emmanuel Macron declared an "economic and social state of emergency" Monday promising to scrap a planned tax hike for pensioners and speed up plans to raise the minimum wage in response to the country's "yellow vest" protests.