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Spain’s king cuts own salary in crisis

MADRID, July 17 – Spain’s King Juan Carlos will cut his salary by about seven percent in line with reductions imposed on public sector workers in the country’s financial crisis, the royal palace said Tuesday.

The king will cut 20,910 euros ($25,545) from his annual gross salary from the state — previously set at more than 292,000 euros for this year — and 10,455 euros from that of his son and heir Felipe, a source in the palace said.

The rest of the royal family, who do not receive salaries, will receive cuts of the same order, totalling 60,000 euros, to the allowance they receive for expenses linked to their royal functions, the source said.

Overall the cuts will add up to more than 90,000 euros from the palace budget for 2012, which had been set at 8.3 million euros, two percent lower than in 2011, the source said.

Conservative Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy last week announced fresh measures to lower Spain’s deficit, including cutting public sector workers’ Christmas bonus and raising sales tax. The measures have prompted angry street protests.

Cutting the Christmas bonus for public sector workers such as nurses and firemen equates to a seven-percent reduction in annual pay.

Rajoy said the latest measures, which came on top of tens of billions of euros of other savings included in the 2012 budget, would help Spain save 65 billion euros over three years to 2014.

Workers in the royal palace will also be subject to the public sector pay cut, the source said, adding that all the money saved would flow back to the public purse.

In a gesture of solidarity with Spaniards in the economic crisis, the palace in December published details of its income, including Juan Carlos’s salary of 292,752 euros in 2011 and 2012.

Four months later Juan Carlos’s image suffered when he made an expensive hunting trip to Botswana, sparking outrage in the media and prompting him to issue an unprecedented apology.

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