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Archive for Monday, December 4, 2006

New president cuts his own salary

December 4, 2006

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— Newly sworn-in president Felipe Calderon decreed a 10 percent pay cut for himself and his cabinet members on Sunday, echoing a central campaign promise of the leftist rival he beat by a razor-thin margin.

Calderon said in a televised speech that he also would slash government spending on everything from cell phone calls to foreign trips and increase transparency to avoid corruption.

"We will give accounts of every peso that citizens have given to the government," Calderon said.

Calderon said the spending cuts he signed in the Sunday decree would save about $2.5 billion in the next year, or enough to build 2,500 schools. He also promised to send a public spending bill to Congress to make long term savings.

Mexico's elected officials are among the highest paid in the world. Former President Vicente Fox's salary was about $245,000 in 2006. The full details of Calderon's 2007 salary have not have not been publicly released yet.

A career politician from the conservative National Action Party or PAN, Calderon beat leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador by less than 1 percent in July's fiercely fought election.

Lopez Obrador had promised to slash salaries of Mexico's top officials and uplift the 50 million Mexicans living in poverty.

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