The Italian earnings trump six other European countries – Germany, France, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the UK – in research conducted by Pablo Oñate, a professor at Charles III University of Madrid.
Europe’s economic powerhouse comes in second for salaries, with German MPs earning €7,700 a month, in addition to €4,100 in overnight expenses. Oñate’s findings were published by the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).
French, Swedish and British MPs have monthly salaries of between €6,000 and €7,000, while in southern Europe Portuguese and Spanish MPs earn less than €4,000 each month.
Italian MPs are not only earning more than three times their southern neighbours, but when GDP is taken into consideration they are earning nearly twice as much as the Germans.
Oñate worked out that Italian politicians’ salary to GDP per capita ratio is 5.52, compared to Germany’s 2.89.
None of the other countries come even close to Italy when economic clout was taken into consideration. France’s ratio is 2.72 and the UK’s 2.60, closely followed by Portugal’s at 2.52.
Despite Swedish MPs earning nearly twice as much as Spanish politicians, the nordic nation has a similar approach to salaries. Sweden’s ratio is 1.90 – the lowest of the seven countries – while Spain’s is 1.96.
In addition to high salaries, Italian MPs have also come under fire for their expenses. An Italian TV reporter decided to find out what use they were making of an estimated €400,000 that is spent on language lessons, by quizzing them in English without prior warning. Many became confused and struggled to speak, prompting the suggestion that public money was being wasted.