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Nicaragua's President Ortega Cuts Government Salaries, Including His Own


Nicaragua's new leftist president, Daniel Ortega, has slashed his own salary as part of a government austerity plan.

A former Marxist rebel who led Nicaragua in the 1980s, Ortega returned to office on January 10. After seeing how much the government spends on payroll, he said he is cutting his own salary and those of ministers and senior civil servants.

Several presidents in Latin America have recently reduced their salaries to deflect criticism that they earn too much while many of their citizens live in poverty. President Felipe Calderon of Mexico cut his salary by 10 percent after taking office in December.

The United Nations classifies half of the population of Nicaragua as poor, and 17 percent as extremely poor.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

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