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The German Bundestag has now decided on the systematic introduction of a minimum wage amounting to 8,50 Euro starting in 2015 and based on the Law on the Regulation of a General Minimum Wage (Mindestlohngesetz-MiLoG).

In that respect, Germany stands at the bottom of the list. There are not many areas left where this is Germany’s case as Europe’s strongest economic nation is usually the perfect example in almost all aspects. For over ten years, trade unions and politicians have made every effort to introduce a legal minimum wage.

However, there will first be a range of derogations as transitional arrangements, for young people under 18, interns, seasonal workers, newspapers delivery staff and unemployed. They still have to be worked out by the parties to the collective agreement. So the minimum wage should come fully into effect in Germany only in 2017.

The Spanish government has adopted a National Energy Efficiency Fund (Fondo Nacional de Eficiencia Energética, FNEE) with a budget of €350m to transpose EU directives.

The new fund will be managed by the Institute for Diversification and Saving of Energy (Instituto para la Diversificación y el Ahorro de Energía, IDAE) and will be partly financed (35%) by the central government from EU structural funds.

It will focus on building renovation, heating systems, and boiler efficiency, among others, and will co-finance energy efficiency investments in buildings, industry, transportation, and agriculture. In the building sector, the FNEE will participate to energy-efficiency investments worth about €892m/year. It will be completed by the ‘Plan de Vivienda 2013-2016′ (€200m) for building renovation. In the industrial sector, the FNEE will contribute to a total of €828m of energy-efficiency investments.

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