As the Greek government rushes to find another 325 million euros of cuts in order to satisfy the lending requirements attached to the next bailout loan, the Greek President will forego his salary.
Ekathimerinireported that President Karolos Papoulias has informed Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos that he wants to forgo his annual salary of 300,000 euros.
The President told Venizelos to ensure the necessary steps are taken to stop the payments. Venizelos described the move as "a symbolic gesture which honors him, particularly in the context of the sacrifices that the Greek people are being asked to make."
The salaries, perks and expenses of Greece's's 300 MP's also add up to a huge amount and have stirred resentment in the Greek population that their leaders are not sharing in austerity. MP's receive a basic monthly salary, before allowances, of 8,594 euros, making them amongst the highest paid politicians in the European Union.
In contrast the latest austerity package will impose a 22 percent salary reduction on the Greek minimum wage, rising to 32 percent for the under 25's. It is predicted that the new net wages of around 500 euros per month will be insufficient to meet living costs. If other MP's were to follow the President's lead it would be a popular move prior to the elections scheduled for April.