Van Rompuy, who stepped down as the European Council president Monday, will be paid a “transitional allowance” worth $210,290 a year until December 2017. In addition, the retiree will be entitled to a lifetime EU pension of $81,700 a year and a one-off payment of $33,000, making his total earnings more than $900,000 over the next three years, the Daily Mail said.
As a retiree, Van Rompuy will not have to do any job for his “transitional allowance”, which is also eligible for a reduced EU “community” tax rate, rather than the Belgian income tax rate, according to the Daily Mail.
During his time in office, Van Rompuy was no stranger to controversy and public criticism. According to Nigel Farage, the leader of UKIP, during Van Rompuy’s term millions of Europeans were driven into poverty and unemployment by the Eurozone crisis, while Van Rompuy himself “hit the jackpot”, the Telegraph said.
While Van Rompuy will enjoy his hefty pay, his native Belgium continues to experience a series of protests against unpopular austerity measures that include an increase in the retirement age, the extension of work schedules, and cuts to income and social services. Last month, more than 100,000 people attended an anti-austerity march on the streets of Brussels, which ended in clashes between protesters and police.