Saturday, 21 November 2009

Presidents come with high costs

Remember the popular republican complaint, a Monarchy would cost the taxpayer tooooooo much money? Republicans give the impression, a president would be cheaper, certainly "more cost efficient".

Wait a minute, why not make a reality check?

The newly installed EU president, Belgian Prime Minister Herman Van Rompuy, will start his new office on 1st January 2010. And he starts the job with a healthy budget. The Daily Telegraph has this to say about what the EU taxpayers have to shoulder:

"Herman Van Rompuy, the EU's new President, will be paid over £320,000 [$580,000] a year. The EU president will only pay a 24 per cent rate of tax and his personal annual travel budget will be £4 million [$7.22 million].

"He will have a staff of 60 people - a cabinet of 22, ten body guards and 28 support staff. His total office budget will be £22.3 million [$40.27 million]."

Herman Van Rompuy and Catherine Ashton

A new palace for the president
"A state of the art building is already under construction, at a cost to the taxpayer of £280 million [$505,6 million], to house the new president of Council.

"Named the
Résidence Palace, after an existing Art Deco building, the new edifice has been designed to be the most impressive in Brussels and will be the venue for European Union summits after 2013. It has a floor space of 29,000 sq metres.

"The new figure is president of the European Council, the quarterly summits of heads of state and government that are the EU's highest political body.

"Under the Lisbon Treaty, the European Council becomes a fully fledged European institution rather than a political meeting, with origins in informal fireside chats between EU's founding six countries.

"The new President is charged with
"driving forward" European Council decisions, which will in future be both politically and legally binding on all EU member states."

The EU shows how to appoint a mate as president
Republicans must love the way the EU got its first president. 27 politicians sat together and agreed to appoint one man out of their midst to be the head boy. No parliament involved, no election, not even any kind of consultation with the peoples he is supposed to represent.

And to make things worse, the population of all but one of the 27 member states were not even asked if they wanted a president. Gosh, aren't republics so democratic?

No comments: