Egypt’s President-Elect Mohamed Morsi will receive a salary of $1,650 a month from the Egyptian government he is slated to head, reported Israel’s Channel 2 News. The number is painfully penurious when compared to former president Hosni Mubarak’s official salary of $4000, disclosed by Egypt’s administrative prosecution court in February of last year.
The salary afforded to Mr. Morsi, recently elected to Egypt’s highest seat of government, is shockingly close to the minimum legal wage of any worker in Israel, about $1,100 adjusted from New Israeli Sheqel. Mr. Morsi’s pay is also severely limited from bonuses and state benefits.
Egypt’s government’s decision to decrease pay is in part a response to the considerable media hype surrounding former president Mubarak’s bloated riches, a sore point for protestors who ousted him from power in last year’s Arab Spring. The exact size of that fortune has been successfully clouded through the Mubarak family’s offshore banking and creative accounting, but is speculated to be anywhere from 1 to 70 billion dollars, putatively amassed through Mubarak’s extensive military career, kickbacks on political deals, and worldwide real estate investments, according to Marketplace.org.
Western heads of state have markedly higher paychecks, with President Obama and French President Francois Hollande collecting monthly salaries of $33,000 and €15,000 (about $18,000) respectively. The salaries reflect the vastly contrasting economies of Middle Eastern and Western countries; while the average yearly income in America surpassed $25,000 per capita in 2011, the Egyptian average was less than a fifth of that.