|Thousands of EU burecrats earn more than German chancellor Angela Merkel|
Thousands of EU bureaucrats enjoy higher salaries than German chancellor Angela Merkel, according to information published by the German government. Merkel's net salary is 11.200 euro, whereas the take-home pay of 4400 middle rank and higher Eurocrats in the Commission, the European Council and the European Parliament is in average 12.500 euro after four years in office (provided that they have two children and do not work in their home country).
The highest paid Eurocrats - when e.g. Commissioners are not counted - are Directors-General, with a net salary of €16.500. There are at least one hundred Eurocrats on this level in the Commission alone.
No wonder then that the European Taxpayers' Union demands an end to the Eurocrats' extensive privileges, which among other things include 13 holiday weeks, a 16% living abroad allowance, low tax rates, extremely advantageous pensions benefits, to name just a few of them.
The EU Commissioner in charge of administration, Slovak Maroš Šefčovič, maintains that the privileges are necessary in order for the EU to be able "to pick the best possible people". (Šefčovič is himself a good example of these "top people" - his own qualifications include five years at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations - without a degree - and a Doctor of Law degree from the Comenius University in Bratislava, based on less than a year's studies)
German Süddeutsche Zeitung reports that there are discussions in Brussels about a 10 to 15 billion reduction of the EU budget (which includes staff costs). If a cut of this size would be agreed, then it would be better for the Commission "to pack up and go home", the same Šefčovič told the Süddeutsche.
Finally a word of wisdom from a top EU bureacrat!