With today’s economy nesting on shaking grounds, the question on everyone’s mind is “How much country leaders make?” The answer might come on a surprising note for those countries that seem to struggle the most in this downfall of the economy ladder.
1. Lee Hsien Loong
He is the current Prime Minister of Singapore. Not only is this man married to Ho Ching, who happens to be the Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of Singapore, but his annual salary consists of US$ 2,856,930, making him the highest paid head of a government today. The numbers comes as a surprise considering that the gross domestic product of Republic of Singapore was only 181,939 million USD for 2008. Now talk about keeping it in the family…
2. Sir Donald Tsang Yam-Kuen
Current Chief Executive and Head of Hong Kong Government. He is also a member of the Tung’s inner cabinet of Executive Council, which is also the highest policy-making body in Hong Kong. Sir Donald’s salary is equivalent to $513,245 USD. With the gross domestic product of Hong Kong at 206,706 million USD, Sir Donald should be considering the investments into his home economy.
3. Raila Odinga
As an East African country, Kenya is doing quite well. It is home to Lake Victoria, the second largest fresh water lake in the world. The country is also run by a president, vice-president, prime minister and two deputies. Compared to other countries in East and Central Africa, its economy is by far the largest in terms of its GDP coming in at $31.41 Billion USD in 2010.
Odinga is currently the Prime Minister of Kenya. He was elected and assumed office in April of 2008. In 2011, his reported annual salary was $427, 886 USD.
4. Barack Obama
Current president of the United States – does not have any reason to complain over his personal budget. The first ever-elected black president brings home $400,000 USD annually. Compared to the gross domestic product of United States of America at 14,264,600 million USD for 2008, Obama’s salary seems to be a fair share.
5. Nicolas Sarkozy
France is considered one of the most developed countries in the world, home to a unitary semi-presidential republic. For the last 500 years, France has been a major power with strong cultural, economic, military and political influences.
The country is significant for a number of reasons. It possesses the fifth largest economy based on its GDP. Furthermore it is the ninth largest economy which is measured by its purchasing power parity. In comparison to other countries in Europe, it is the wealthiest in terms of aggregate household wealth.
Sarkozy is the 23rd President of the French Republic and ex officio co-Prince of Andorra, who was recently ousted in May 2012 elections. Since coming to power, he’s employed a strong foreign policy, strengthening entente cordiale with the U.K. and has increased co-operation with the United States. His income comes in 5th on the list at $318, 000 USD.
6. Angela Dorothea Merkel
Current Chancellor of Germany. Merkel is the first female Chancellor of Germany. From 2006 to 2008, Forbes Magazine has named her the most powerful woman in the world. In 2007, she became the second woman to chair the G8 after Margaret Thatcher. Although married twice, Mrs. Merkel remains childless and gives all of her love and attention to politics. By doing so she is earning €228,000 or 303,000 US dollars. With Germany’s gross domestic product at 3,667,513 million USD we say go ahead Mrs. Merkel, spoil yourself!
7. Stephen Joseph Harper
Canada is the second largest country in the world, consisting of 10 provinces and 3 territories and spanning 9.9 million kilometres. The country itself is a federal state that is governed by a parliamentary democracy and is part of the constitutional monarchy under Queen Elizabeth II.
The economy is quite diversified, relying on natural resources and upon trade, especially with the United States and Mexico. It is significant for having the sixth highest HDI and tenth highest per capita income globally. This makes the country one of the best countries to live in.
Harper has been Prime Minister since 2006, winning a majority in May of 2011. His annual income (2011) comes in at $296, 400 USD. He’s done quite well for his country. Canada now ranks $1.58 trillion USD (2010) in terms of its GDP.
8. Julia Gillard:
Australia is one the most highly developed countries. It ranks 13 in terms of the largest economies and has the 5th highest per capita income in the world. For 40,000 years, it was inhabited by indigenous populations speaking approximately 250 languages. It was discovered by the Dutch in 1606, while Great Britain claimed the eastern half in 1770.
In January of 1901, the six colonies formed the Commonwealth of Australia. Since then, Australia has maintained a highly liberal democratic political system which functions as a parliamentary democracy.
Julia Gillard, the Prime Minister, of Australia ranks 7th on the list with an annual income of $286, 752. She’s been a political leader for decades, entering in her second year of University, after being introduced by State Labor Minister’s daughter. She is also significant for her role in leading the Australian Union of Students.
9. Naoto Kan:
This Prime Minister of Japan was reportedly making $273, 676 USD a year. However, it is important to note his efforts during the nuclear disaster in 2011 after earthquake and tsunami hit his country. He refused to be paid until the crisis in Fukushima was over.
Japan has come a long way since 1800s. Before 1854, the country lived in isolation having almost no contact with the outside world. Now it has become a country with the third largest economy by its nominal GDP and 4th largest economy by purchasing power parity. With the natural and nuclear disasters that hit the country in March of 2011, things do look weak for the country. However, I am sure it will pick up the pieces soon with the leadership of Kan.
10. Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin
This president elect and former Prime Minister of Russia is also one of the richest leaders. By many claims, Putin is the richest person in Russia, while being confronted with the same accusation Putin said “This is true. I am the richest person not only in Europe, but also in the world. I collect emotions…” His annual official income is $122,000 US dollars and with Russia’s gross domestic product at 1,676,586 million dollar USD, Time magazine’s “Person of the year” award winner for 2007, Putin not only “pulled Russia out of chaos”, he also manages his finances on the same scale.