Saturday, April 14, 2007

Costs of Italian democracy

From Today's Repubblica (Vladimiro Polchi, "I costi dello stato", p. 9):

"How much does a parliamentarian earn? The calculation is not easy given the number of different headings to add. Senators and deputie take home euro 14,000 per month net of taxes. To the exemption of 5,486 euros (reduced by 10% with the 2006 budget) one adds: 4,003 euros "for the reimbursement of costs incurred staying in Rome", and 4,190 euros (4,687 for senators) for "reimbursement of costs incurred in the relationship between elected and electors". But that's not all. The MP need not worry about his travels, enjoying a "ticket for free movement on tollways, trains, naval, and air travel within the country". If s/he needs to go abroad, there are annuals expenses of up to 3,100 euros. The telephone bill is not a prolem: for his chatting, the deputy enjoys an annual sum of 3,098 euros; 4,150 for senators. Other reimbursements are made for taxis (3,233 every three months)."

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