RIGA - The monthly salary and expenses of President Valdis Zatlers will becut by 540 lats (768 euro) in 2009, leaving the head of the state with a totalof 2,250 lats per month.
Salaries of other staff ofthe president's office will also be cut by 15 percent next year regardless oftheir rank in implementation of the new austerity measures on Tuesday approvedby the government, provided that the parliament passes them on Thursday.
Eriks Ozols, the head ofthe president's office, told BNSthat instead of the current monthly salary of 3,000 lats Zatlers will receive2,250 lats a month in 2009, and his monthly expenses will be cut to 510 latsfrom 600 lats.
He said that any seriouslayoffs at the president's office were not likely as they could only fire acouple of cleaning women and a gardener, for they would become unnecessary as thepresident's office will move to temporary premises in the Cabinet building dueto renovation of the presidential residence at Riga Castle.
Ozols said that the totalpayroll planned for 2009 at 1.66 million lats would have to be cut by 250,000lats. The president's office has already been cutting its payroll graduallysince 2007.
The Latvian government on Dec.9 approved the bill of a 15 percent salary cut for officials and employees ofthe public sector in 2009, which includes also the President of State and hisoffice. The parliament is expected to vote on the bill on Dec 11.