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Uruguayan President owns nothing but a Beetle

In a time when politicians seem required to have all kinds of gotten and ill-gotten fortunes, it was wonderful to read of Uruguay’s recently elected President Jose Mujica, whose assets consist of a single Volkswagen Beetle. This from The Telegraph:

“In a sworn statement detailing his assets, Mr Mujica said he has no bank accounts or other assets and put his small flower farm in his wife’s name, only possessing the ageing car, worth £1,300. Mr Mujica, a former leftist guerrilla, took office in March and he is popular in the small ranching nation for his modest lifestyle and down-to-earth attitude. The 75-year-old president’s sworn statement, made public this week, shows Mr Mujica has no debt – or savings – and does not own any other property. Mr Mujica’s presidential salary is £8,000 per month, but he donates most of that to the ruling leftist coalition and a public housing programme. He has refused to move to the official presidential residence, opting to stay in the simple home his senator wife owns on the outskirts of the capital, Montevideo.In contrast, his vice president Danilo Astori’s declared wealth of £173,000 includes a house and car worth nearly 10 times Mr Mujica’s Beetle. The leftist leader, who shuns formal suits and ties, was jailed for more than a decade for his guerrilla activities during the 1960s and 1970s.”

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