February 5, 2011 in Nation/World

Iraq’s al-Maliki cutting his salary by half

Associated Press

BAGHDAD – Iraq’s prime minister said Friday he’ll return half of his annual salary to the public treasury in a symbolic gesture that appeared calculated to insulate himself from the anti-government unrest spreading across the Middle East.

It was a stunning statement for Nouri al-Maliki, who has resisted disclosing his pay in the five years he has led Iraq.

Al-Maliki narrowly secured a second term in office after months of political negotiations last year. He is believed to earn at least $360,000 annually.

“Fifty percent of my monthly salary will be reduced, starting from the current month, as a contribution from me to reduce the difference in the salaries of the state officials,” al-Maliki said in a statement Friday.

“That will help limit the differences in the social living standards for different classes of the society.”

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