The $5 Million Presidency.
No, this is not a reference to George Bush. Instead, the Daily Telegraph reports that the president of the European Parliament has 46 employees, several of whom receive six-figure salaries. And since the European Parliament (fortunately!) has few powers, one can only wonder why so many expensive employees are needed for a largely ornamental office:
The president of the European Parliament is under pressure to justify his 46-strong entourage. The office of Hans-Gert Poettering includes three drivers, 13 advisers and seven press officers. A conservative estimate of the total annual running costs of the German MEP’s cabinet alone has been put at EUR3.5 million (£2.5 million). This includes about £1.6 million on staff salaries, plus travel expenses and publicity costs. Klaus Welle, his German chief of staff, is the top earner but six department heads directly below him are also believed to receive six-figure salaries.
The era of big government, really big government, has just begun.