A relevant question – it’s they, after all, who are the least bribable.
Wprost magazine has a list of the top 50 best-off politicos in parliament. You might be surprised by which party many of them come from.
The richest politician, by a long way, is Janusz Palikot (photo - nice hair!), a member of the opposition, free market orientated Civic Platform (PO). He’s worth about 333 million zlotys – around 100 million dollars. He made his first million in the early 1990’s from producing wooden pallets for transporting alcohol (well, someone had to).
In fact, his party, Civic Platform, has the greatest number with 18 members of parliament in Wprost's top 50. No surprise really, as PO is the most business friendly party in Polish politics. Entrepreneurs and the growing and aspiring middle class make up its electoral base.
But guess which party has the second richest MPs in the top 50? It’s the rural proletarian, ex-Stalinist, farmers based trade union, Self defense (Samoobrona)!
Led by deputy Prime Minister Andzej Lepper, Samoobrona has 9 MPs in the top 50. There’s money in muck, as they used to say in Britain.
In fact the second richest politician in Poland is Samoobrona member Jozef Pilarz, worth a cool 23 million pln. He makes his money from farming and land ownership. So though its base support is from among the poorer members of Polish society, Self defense voters are represented by some of the richest.
Wprost calculates that the richest member of the ruling Law and Justice party is Radek Sikorski (12 million). He’s a graduate from Oxford University, who worked as a journalist for various British media in the Afghan war against the Soviets after which he went to the US. He’s married to American journalist and fellow member of the neo-con American Enterprise Institute, Anne Applebaum.
Wprost also lists the world’s highest paid politicians and heads of state.
Japan’s PM Junichiro Koizumi comes out on top, paid around 30,000 dollars a month. Next up is, amazingly, Irelands Mary McAleese, who gets a bit more than George Bush, at just under 30,000 dollars.
President of Poland, Lech Kaczynski only receives a poor 19,000 zlotys a month ( 6,500 dollars). But even that’s much better than the impoverished Prime Minister of Bulgaria, Siergiej Staniszew, who takes home to his wife as little as 1,200 dollars a month.
Strange then, is it not, that Bulgaria is the 54th least corrupt country in Europe, according to Transparency International, and Poland is 70th!
Maybe we should be paying Polish politicians even less?
Monday, August 21, 2006
Posted by beatroot at 8/21/2006