AN EU study has revealed that between 2000 and 2005 Portuguese company director salaries rose 26.3 per cent.
In 2006, a director or managing director of a PSI-20 company, one which is quoted on the Lisbon stock exchange, earned 30 times more on average than an employee in the same company.
Although the phenomenon happens in most European Union countries, the European Commission likened the disparity to ‘taking a whip to society.’
The problem of salary disparities has been discussed at a Eurogroup meeting in Brussels, although no announcement has been made as to measures to combat the overall tendency for the rich to get richer and the poor to get poorer.
The Portuguese Finance Minister, Fernando Teixeira dos Santos, present at the meeting this month, agreed that in Portugal “the gap was even greater now than in the past” adding that the new Public Management Law aimed to reverse these tendencies.
Among Portuguese directors highlighted in the report were Belmiro Azevedo, Fernando Ulrich and António Mexia (of EDP), all of whom have called into question the government’s right to influence management salaries that should be “outside its field of influence.”
In 2006 alone, senior management salaries for PSI-20 companies shot up by nine per cent while company profits grew by only 2.5 per cent.
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