MPs Give Sarko a 140% Raise

One part of the public sector that won't be trimmed: president now makes $346K
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 31, 2007 8:23 AM CDT
In this image released by CBS News/60 Minutes, French President Nicolas Sarkozy leaves a "60 Minutes" interview conducted by correspondent Lesley Stahl which aired Sunday, Oct. 28, 2007 on CBS. In the...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Nicolas Sarkozy got a 140% pay raise yesterday, thanks to his party, which enjoys an absolute majority in France's National Assembly. The president's salary—which previous heads of state have bolstered by commandeering operating cash—went up to $346,000, the same as the prime minister's. Opposition politicians called the raise scandalous, but Sarko said it was about transparency, writes the Times of London.

"You get the feeling that the political class is helping itself while the French people are abandoned on the edge of the pavement," protested Arnaud Montebourg, an MP and top adviser to Ségolène Royal. It's been a tough week for the hyper president: Air France workers are on strike, and the Socialist party has been chiding him for his tepid response to the arrest of French charity workers' charged with Chadian children.