Agence France Presse
Published — Wednesday 21 November 2012
Last update 20 November 2012 9:41 pm
ROME: The new head of the heavily-indebted island of Sicily has kicked off a campaign to cut waste by firing his 21-strong press office, which costs the region 3.2 million euros ($ 4.09 million) a year.
The team is four times as large as the one employed by the Italian government during flamboyant ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi’s era in power, and each journalist goes by the title of “news editor,” Italian media said yesterday. Incomes range from 4,000 to 6,000 euros a month after tax, while the press officer based permanently in Brussels is paid 12,000 euros ($ 15,400) a month — a situation newly-elected governor Rosario Crocetta has slammed as untenable.
The press office budget is “a sum with which we could pay 200 precarious workers, people who earn 600 euros a month and who don’t have the means to buy milk for their children,” said the center-left governor voted in in October.