After president, Greek PM also gives up salary

After president, Greek PM also gives up salary

ATHENS – Agence France-Presse
After president, Greek PM also gives up salary

Greece’s PM Papademos speaks at a news conference in Brussels. A recent report by the Greek Finance Ministry cited that Pademos’ salary was higher than 5,000 euros.

Prime Minister Lucas Papademos has followed in the path of President Carolos Papoulias by giving up his salary to help ease Greece’s debt burden, a government source said yesterday.

“It was personal decision, the PM did not feel that it had to be announced,” the official, who declined to be identified, told AFP.

Ta Nea daily said Papademos, a former vice-president of the European Central Bank, made the revelation on Wednesday during a visit to Brussels where finance ministers are to discuss a new bailout for Athens worth 130 billion euros ($175 billion).

“Not even his associates knew this,” the daily said.

Papademos’ office was unable to give details on the level of his salary.

On Feb. 29, the finance ministry released a list of its best-paid public servants, including the prime minister, which it said are entitled to salaries of more than 5,000 euros ($6,700) a month.

Deputy finance minister Filippos Sachinidis released the information in response to a parliamentary question, the semi-state Athens News Agency said.

The list of pre-tax monthly salaries of over 5,000 euros includes President Papoulias, Papademos, cabinet ministers, junior ministers and parliament lawmakers.

The heads of Greece’s ailing social insurance funds, troubled hospital managers, mayors of towns with over 100,000 residents and senior academics, judges and diplomats are also entitled to such salaries, the deputy finance minister said.

Precise wages per position were not given.

Papoulias recently announced he was giving up an annual salary of over 280,000 euros, and civil servants have already sustained pay cuts in the last two years under Greece’s unprecedented fiscal overhaul, enacted under EU-IMF supervision to address the country’s worst debt crisis in decades.

The parliament in November also said that lawmaker salaries would be axed by over 46,000 euros for 2012, a cut of around 40 percent.

The finance ministry said the figures given on Wednesday were adjusted for salary cuts.

Greece’s debt has exploded to over 350 billion euros, and it is slated to continue drawing loans from the eurozone on top of a 110-billion-euro EU-IMF bailout set up for Athens’ benefit in 2010.