Sunday, May 20, 2012

French ministers take 30% pay cut, sign sober code of conduct...

Members of France's new government took up their posts on Thursday with President Fran├žois Hollande's promise of "dignity, simplicity and sobriety" ringing in their ears.

For the first time, half of the 34 appointed ministers are women, and only four of the new ministers have served in government before.

At the first council of ministers on Thursday afternoon, the government voted on its first measure, a 30% wage reduction for all ministers and the president, as promised by Hollande in his election campaign. Instead of €21,194 (£17,045) a month before tax, the president and prime minister will each receive €14,836. Ministerial monthly salaries drop from €13,423 to €9,396.

As a symbolic gesture in times of austerity, it was a masterstroke. Better still, it sat in stark contrast to the actions of Hollande's predecessor, Nicolas Sarkozy, whose first move upon taking office was to increase his salary by about 170%. Full story...

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