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Swiss voters reject Europe's highest minimum wage

Swiss voters have opposed a proposal that would have seen the country implement the highest minimum wage in Europe. The minimum wage in Switzerland would have climbed to the equivalent of around 18 euros per hour.

Swiss voters have rejected a new minimum wage of 22 Swiss francs (18 euros, $24.66) per hour in a referendum on Sunday, according to projections by Swiss broadcaster SRF. That would have soundly trumped the current highest minimum wage of 11.10 euros per hour in Luxembourg. The German cabinet has plans to implement a minimum wage of 8.50 euros per hour starting in 2015.

The minimum wage in Switzerland was touted by unions and left-leaning political parties, while parties in the current government warned about the effect the minimum wage would have on jobs. Polls ahead of the vote indicated Swiss voters were likely to reject the referendum.

A measure about purchasing additional military jets for the Swiss military was also on Sunday's ballot.

mz/msh (Reuters, dpa, epd)

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