The opposition-controlled German upper house of parliament moved on Friday to flex its new-found muscles when it agreed to a series of measures, despite strong criticism from within the ranks of Chancellor Angela Merkel\'s ruling coalition. The Bundesrat signed a resolution to bring a nation-wide minimum wage of 8.50 euros (11.04 dollars) an hour, according to dpa. The passage of the measure reflects a shift in the balance of power in the Bundesrat, which represents Germany\'s 16 states, and increases pressure on Merkel as she gears up for the nation\'s September general election. The opposition is now in control of the Bundesrat for the first time since 1999. This strength of opposition in the Bundesrat means the chamber is now a key political battleground.