Saturday 25 November 2017

Kenny is third best-paid leader by population in EU

Taoiseach Enda Kenny addresses a news conference after an European Union leaders summit in Brussels June 29, 2012. Photo: Reuters
Taoiseach Enda Kenny addresses a news conference after an European Union leaders summit in Brussels June 29, 2012. Photo: Reuters
Thomas Molloy

Thomas Molloy

IRISH people pay the third highest amount for their leader per head within the EU, Bloomberg said yesterday.

We pay about 4.3 cents each every year to cover Enda Kenny's €200,000 salary.

Cyprus, which took over the rotating European Union presidency earlier this week after seeking a bailout, has the costliest head of government in the 17-nation euro area. Luxembourg is second, where pay generally is high.

Cyprus's 804,435 residents will each pay almost 20 cents this year toward the €158,551 annual salary of President Demetris Christofias, who last month became the fifth euro leader to request a financial lifeline. Jean-Claude Juncker's €210,111 pay costs each inhabitant of Luxembourg about 41 cents.

"Luxembourg isn't odd because everybody is highly paid, but there's no reason why the Cypriot president should be that well paid," said Eoin O'Malley, a professor of political science at Dublin City University.

Fall

"I assume in the next 12 months the president's salary will fall significantly."

Mr Kenny cut his salary to €200,000 last year from €214,187 in an attempt to show solidarity with others who have endured salary cuts.

That still left him better paid than leaders from solvent countries such as the Netherlands (€180,000); the UK (€172,000); Finland (€129,000); and Poland (€33,367).

Euro-area finance ministers approved Cyprus's bailout request on June 27 without specifying an amount for the rescue, which will encompass the public sector as well as banks. Cyprus is also seeking assistance from the International Monetary Fund.

Demands for austerity have forced the politicians and heads of state of the other four countries forced to ask for bailouts, Greece, Spain, Portugal and Ireland, to take pay cuts.

"Politicians have to show some leadership, and one of the most symbolic ways is to cut pay, so I expect pay cuts will be on the cards if they have any sense," Dr O'Malley said of Cyprus.

Irish Independent

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