Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Czech PM to meet representatives of Austria, Slovakia and France

ČTK |
9 August 2017

Prague, Aug 8 (CTK) - Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka will meet in Salzburg representatives of Austria, France and Slovakia in two weeks to debate the future of the EU and bringing the standards of living closer to one another, he tweeted today.

The meeting on August 23 will be also attended by Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern, French President Emmanuel Macron and Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico.

The Austrian daily Osterreich wrote last week that Kern will invite Macron and the Czech and Slovak prime ministers to this year's music and theatre festival in Salzburg.

Kern wants to debate with Macron fighting "social and wage dumping" which both of them say negatively affects the labour market in Western Europe.

Sobotka, for his part, says West European countries are trying to push Czech firms out from their markets.

France and other West European countries have been growingly opposed to people from poorer East European countries of the European Union working for wages that are common in their home countries in the west of the EU.

These wages often do not even reach the legal level of the minimum pay in the west of the EU.

The cheap labour force from Eastern Europe depresses the offer of job opportunities, the Austrian daily pointed out Macron's opinion.

France demands that drivers from East European countries and tradespeople from the Baltic countries are paid the French minimum wage.

Macron and the prime ministers of the Visegrad Four (Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia) discussed the big differences in the living standards between the East and West in Brussels at the end of June.

ms/dr/hol

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