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Zimbabwe PM Says Government is Broke


Zimbabwe's prime minister says the country cannot meet union demands for higher wages because the government is broke.

Morgan Tsvangirai told a May Day rally Friday that the government would maintain the current monthly salary of $100 for government workers.

He said when the government's finances improve, he will advocate for higher salaries.

Mr. Tsvangirai, who is a former trade union leader, asked the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions to give the new government time to fix the economy before pressing its demands for a minimum wage of $454 per month. The union has threatened to go on strike if wages are not increased.

The prime minister said he has been working hard with President Robert Mugabe to repair the economy. He said although the two men have disagreements, they want the country to succeed.

The two men joined a power sharing government in February, which allowed Mr. Tsvangirai, a longtime opposition leader, to become the prime minister.

The new government has asked for billions of dollars in foreign aid to restore government services and revive the economy. However, Western donors say they want to see further progress in implementing the power-sharing agreement before considering any large-scale aid.

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