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Czech president-elect vows salary cut to lower debt

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Milos Zeman, the Czech Republic's outspoken leftist president-elect, has pledged to give up thirty percent of his salary to lower the public debt of the recession-struck EU member, local media said Tuesday.

Zeman said he will create soon after his inauguration next month a special presidential fund to lower the public debt, the Dnes broadsheet daily reported.

Zeman said he is ready to put into this fund over thirty percent of his monthly salary of 14,200 euros ($19,000), adding he hoped to serve as an example for other high income earners.

At 45 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), the Czech Republic's public debt is among the lowest in the 27-member EU.

An ex-communist who served as prime minister from 1998-2002, Zeman, 68, takes over from right-wing eurosceptic Vaclav Klaus.

Having tumbled into recession in 2012, forecasts are for the economy of the EU nation of 10.5 million to contract further this year before a returning to very slow growth in 2014.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130212/czech-president-elect-vows-salary-cut-lower-debt