Friday, April 27, 2007

Poverty Update, Rajoy Empties His Pockets

One week after refusing to disclose his salary when asked to do so on live television, Partido Popular leader Mariano Rajoy has finally decided to reveal some details about what he earns. The figure that has been released is one of 8000 euros a month, 3000 of that being the salary paid to a member of parliament and the rest coming from the salary he receives from the PP. However, Mariano has been a little bit coy here, because as a member of parliament elected for Madrid he receives an additional allowance of 841 euros a month. This supplement on its own is almost enough to make him a mileurista - one of those who have to get by on a salary of 1000 euros a month or less; whilst of course enjoying the privilege of having to pay prices for goods and services that are more in line with Northern European levels. If you add to Mariano's total the transport and living allowances for when the parliamentarians are away from home, the figure continues to rise. The evidence of the cases of Esperanza Aguirre and Mariano show that the problems of the mileuristas are nothing compared to those faced by their apparently wealthier counterparts - the cienmileuristas. You have to wonder what runs through the minds of such people to make them believe that pleading poverty on an annual salary of 100,000 euros is a way of demonstrating empathy with those who have genuine economic difficulties?

As part of the public relations operation following last weeks programme, Rajoy yesterday had dinner with one of the members of the public who had questioned him on the PP's stance on reform of regional autonomy statutes. Presumably, given his evident financial difficulties, he managed to get her to pay for the meal.


The Pillion Passenger said...

considering he's a public official is it not possible to look up his salary on the internet - or through some dept? you know, like if i wanted to know how much a civil servant earns or a police officer i would be entitled to know.

it's the expenses thing that gets me. our taoiseach (prime minister) bertie ahern hasn't paid for petrol in 23 years or something. and chirac in france he was spending public money on food and flowers with the abandon of Elton John after eating 2 tabs of mescaline. 6000 grand a week or something.

Graeme said...

Well we know the public part of his salary, that's what he gets as as a member of parliament. The salary he gets paid by his party is not public, and it's still not even clear whether the figure they give is net or gross. I've seen estimates that put his monthly salary nearer to 10-12000 euros a month. There is also expenses abuse here in Spain, when Eduardo Zaplana was a minister in the PP government it looks like he kept Alicante's turron industry going almost entirely on public money.