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ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: Ils ont osé le faire. Blair : 7 300 euros la minute, et sans bonus.

by Gaël De Santis

They dared to do it. Blair : 7 300 euros a minute, without bonus.

Translated Tuesday 12 May 2009, by Karen Singleton

Is pulling himself up to be Head of State, while still young, a proof of democratic renewal? No. It’s just the guarantee of a golden retirement. The Sunday Times, April 5th, showed that Tony Blair, former British Prime Minister, earned €440 000 for two 30 minute speeches, during a 36 hour visit to the Philippines. That works out to €7 300 a minute. Rather well-paid for a speech entitled “ The leader as a nation builder in the era of globalisation’. Did he, who built the apparent prosperity of his country by submitting to the City, speak to the Philippine audience about his experience of building a house of cards?

All in all, since he left Downing Street two years ago, Tony Blair has pocketed a mere 15 million pounds (16.6 euros millions). Working the conference circuit is a popular trend for leaders to finance their retirement. Bill Clinton was earning €110 000 per speech…before he had to shut up due to his wife being part of the Obama administration. It’s even believed that George W. Bush received the same tariff for his profound thoughts.

Besides his speaking engagements, Tony Blair draws a yearly salary of €2.2 million as an advisor for JP Morgan Chase, and another €550 thousand for the same role at Zurich Financial Services. He sold his memoirs for €5 million. In it does he explain how he renewed socialism by removing inhibitions?

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