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Blair, Merkel top-paid leaders in Europe-study

By Staff
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BERLIN, May 7 (Reuters) British Prime Minister Tony Blair and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are Europe's best paid leaders, each earning more than 260,000 euro (9,800) a year, according to a new study.

The study, conducted by management consultancy Hay Group and published in German magazine Wirtschaftswoche yesterday, put Blair's annual salary at 268,500 euro, just ahead of Merkel at 261,500.

Slovakian Prime Minister Mikulas Dzurinda, with a yearly salary of 39,100 euro, was the lowest paid leader in the 13 European countries surveyed. Polish Prime Minister Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz was just ahead of Dzurinda at 53,400 euro.

U S President George W Bush earns an annual salary of 400,000 dollars.

Despite being the best paid leader in Europe, Blair earns only 5 per cent to 10 per cent what the top executive in a British blue-chip company makes, the study said.

Merkel, meanwhile, earns 10 per cent to 15 per cent of what a top German manager makes.

REUTERS VJ RN0516

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