President accepts salary cut

President Václav Klaus has acknowledged the government’s plan to cut and tax his salary, saying that the economic situation called for belt-tightening at all levels. In an interview for Mladá fronta Dnes, the president said that his office already operated on a modest budget and would further reduce its expenditures. Even so, the president could not resist a jibe at the finance minister, saying that he had been somewhat amused to find that in the 10-million-strong Czech Republic the head of state would be asked to make the biggest sacrifice. The cabinet has proposed reducing the president’s monthly salary – which amounts to 196.000 crowns – by five percent and levelling a 15 percent tax on his income. Ex-president Vaclav Havel will also see his 50 thousand crown monthly income taxed. Under current law the president alone is exempted from tax duty.