Paraguay's president donates his entire salary to the poor

Posted on Flickr by "Fernando lugo APC"

The socialist wind currently blowing through South America reached Paraguay this year with the election of leftist Chavez-ally Fernando Lugo. On his first day, the ex-bishop announced that he would be renouncing his entire salary and donating it to the poor. Not like other presidents then...

Paraguay's head of state doesn't earn a great deal - at US$72,000 [AP] (€49,000) he's lagging well behind French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who doubled his salary to €240,000 when he came into power. He's also far from Singaporean President Lee Hsien Loong, who is possibly the highest paid president in the world, with around €1.5m a year. Only his neighbour in Bolivia, Evo Morales, seems to be worse off, with around €15,000.

Either way, Lugo announced the decision to give up his pay at his inauguration on August 15. "I have no need of this money, which belongs to more humble people," he told the audience. The friendly philanthropist makes a change for Paraguay, which has been ruled for the past six decades, largely under military dictatorship, by the right-wing Colorado Party.

"Receive a salary for your work, for me that's the honest way"

Ada Carolina Bogado is a lawyer from the capital, Asuncion. She runs a blog.

I don't like the fact that the president has given up his entire salary. You should be paid for the work that you do - nobody said that the president has to volunteer! Why doesn't he just give up a part of it and give it to a good cause? By renouncing his salary, his expenses are no longer transparent. Anywhere he goes he gets everything for free. He doesn't pay utility or telephone bills. But he does need to buy clothes! He might not have any children or a wife, but he still needs somewhere to live. Would all of those things be free too? I don't really get it - we all have the right to work and receive a salary for it. For me that's the honest way."

"I think this is a very valuable gesture (…) in a place where presidents used to become 'inevitable multimillionaires'"

Jorge Zarate is a journalist in Paraguay.

I think this is a very valuable gesture as we're talking about a country where the treasury has been systematically robbed. However, it needs to go beyond being symbolic. More profound actions are needed to fight against corruption in a place where presidents used to become "inevitable multimillionaires".

According to one published paper, the personal wealth of the heirs of Paraguayan presidents Stroessner, Rodríguez, Juan Carlos Wasmosy, and Raúl Cubas would exceed 1,000 million dollars. That would not be weird in a developed country, but it is something offensive in a country where 50% of the population is poor and there are more than 300,000 peasants without land.

The previous president, Nicanor Duarte Frutos, was a journalist living in a rented house and could hardly make ends meet. Two decades later he owns highly expensive properties and private harbours dealing with Chinese imports and soy exports.

Now, everyone will be watching to see what Lugo and his partners do, so history will not repeat itself."


I'm sure he will make it up

I'm sure he will make it up in the drug trade lol

Do charity but don" fool the nation

iam totally in compromise with Madama Ada Carolina Bogado . If the president says that he gives all his entire salary to the country , then what is the need of become president ? he better be a simple civilian and work to help the poor people . He can dedicate part of his salary to the poor once but not all. As far as he will eat , sleep in a room , drive a car which need fuel , also having parents to take care of . Where will he get money to do all this ?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

President's salary

in responce to what madame Ada Carolina Bogado and mr.Aremakih.First of all i would like to salute the Paraguay president regarding what he's doing to the poor people of he's country.Now this is what i have to say to Madame Ada and mr.Aremakih.What if the president didn't care about he's own people and thinks of himself and brought corruption in he's country what would yuo have said?Another useless president?

In many countries many

In many countries many presidents and prime minister opted not to draw salary but they survived. In many countries priests are not paid but manage to live with donations given by faithful. president Lugo was a bishop and perhaps knows how to live without salary.