German cabinet gives itself a pay rise

BERLIN, Germany — German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her cabinet have awarded themselves a pay rise. 

It is the first time the cabinet's salaries have increased in 12 years, according to the Deutsche Press Agentur

They will see their wages increase by 5.7 percent by August 2013. The rise will be implemented in three stages, beginning with a 3.3 percent hike this year. 

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That means that Merkel's pay will ultimately increase by €930 per month, according to The Local, from €16,152 per month before tax to around €17,016. 

Her ministers will get an extra €750 a month, bringing their wages to around €13,795.

Neither of Germany's two houses of parliament has the power to block the pay rise, according to the DPA. 

Government spokesman Stephan Siebert called the increase "justified and reasonable," adding: "I believe this will be understood by everyone of good will."

The German cabinet has renounced all similar proposals since 2000, Der Speigel said, noting that the last, two years ago, was greeted with public protests.

In contrast, France's new president, François Hollande, has promised to cut salaries for himself and his minister by 30 percent, according to the Associated Press.

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