BERLIN (AP) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel says she is prepared to accept demands for a national minimum wage in order to forge a coalition that would give her a third term in office.

Merkel and her conservative Union bloc had opposed the center-left Social Democrats' call for an 8.50 euro ($11.50) minimum wage ahead of the country's recent general election.

But lacking the seats to form a government on its own, Merkel's bloc has been negotiating a "grand coalition" with the Social Democrats for the past two months.

She told an audience of political and business leaders in Berlin on Thursday that she saw forming a new government as a "responsibility" that would require concessions.

Some economists have warned the plan would cause job losses in Europe's biggest economy.

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  • Rick Perry

    Texas governor and Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry <a href="">criticized the commerce clause</a> for creating minimum wage laws in his book "Fed Up! Our Fight To America From Washington."

  • Herman Cain

    Though Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain never outright advocated abolishing the minimum wage, he did argue that <a href="">minimum wage laws prevent workers</a> at the margins from getting their first jobs. Cain was an executive in the restaurant industry, which is one of the <a href="">largest employers of low-wage workers.</a>

  • Alaska Tea Party Senate Candidate Joe Miller

    When he was running for Senate in 2010, Joe Miller, a Republican Senate candidate, <a href="">told ABC News</a> that "there should not be" a federal minimum wage.

  • Ron Paul

    Famed libertarian and former Republican Congressman and presidential candidate said during a presidential debate in 2011 that the country <a href="">would "absolutely" be better off</a> if the minimum wage was abolished because "it would help the poor people."

  • Peter Schiff

    Frequent Fox guest Peter Schiff claimed in September 2011 that the minimum wage was "one of the most anti-poor people" rules in the country, <a href="">according to Media Matters</a>.

  • Republican West Virginia Senate Candidate John Raese

    When he was running for Senate in 2008, West Virginia Republican John Raese called the federally mandated minimum wage "an archaic system that has never worked," <a href="">according to Politico</a>.

  • Michele Bachmann

    Minnesota Congresswoman and one-time Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann said in June 2011 that <a href="">she supports abolishing the minimum wage</a>.

  • Las Vegas Chamber Of Commerce

    A spokesperson for the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce argued in favor of a 2011 proposal to repeal Nevada's minimum wage, saying that a minimum wage doesn't have to be locked into the Constitution, <a href="">according to the Las Vegas Sun</a>.

  • Rand Paul

    Republican Kentucky Senator Rand Paul said in 2010 that while Congress has the right to mandate a minimum wage, he's not sure it's such a good idea. "I think the question you have to ask is whether or not when you set the minimum wage it may cause unemployment, the son of Libertarian <a href="">Ron Paul said, according to ABC News</a>.

  • Alan Greenspan

    The former Federal Reserve Chairman said at a congressional hearing in 2001 that he would get rid of the minimum wage if he had the power, <a href="">according to a Wall Street Journal report</a> at the time. "I'm not in favor of cutting anybody's earnings or preventing them from rising, but I am against them losing their jobs because of artificial government intervention, which is essentially what the minimum wage is," he said.

  • The New York Times In 1987

    In <a href="">a 1987 editorial</a>, the New York Times argued for eliminating the minimum wage saying that it's "an idea whose time has passed."