President Sarkozy gives himself a pay rise

30th October 2007, Comments 0 comments

30 October 2007, PARIS (AFP) - President Nicolas Sarkozy's salary is set to more than double under a government amendment to this year's budget, to bring his pay cheque into line with European leaders, the ruling party said Tuesday.

30 October 2007

PARIS (AFP) - President Nicolas Sarkozy's salary is set to more than double under a government amendment to this year's budget, to bring his pay cheque into line with European leaders, the ruling party said Tuesday.

The budget amendment would increase Sarkozy's annual pay from its current level of 101,488 euros (146,300 dollars), or 8,500 euros per month, according to the head of Sarkozy's right-wing Union for a Popular Movement (UMP), Jean-Francois Cope.

Cope said "the president's pay package will be aligned with that of the prime minister," who currently earns some 240,000 euros per year.

Speaking on an official trip to Corsica, Sarkozy defended the decision saying: "I want transparency. I want the French people to know."

The amendment, to be debated in parliament later Tuesday, is sure to be approved, since the UMP enjoys a wide majority in both houses.

"This is part of a desire for transparency but also coherence," Cope said. "To be president of republic, head of state, is a heavy responsibility. I find it absolutely right the president of the republic should be paid a similar amount to other European heads of state and government."

Half of the French population earns less than 1,500 euros per month, and Sarkozy campaigned on a promise to raise living standards by freeing up the French labour market.

The Socialist opposition said Sarkozy's pay rise was "untimely, considering most of our fellow citizens are having real trouble making ends meet".

AFP

Subject: French news

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