14 Oct, 2022 @ 10:00
2 mins read

Explainer: How much is Spain’s prime minister paid, and how does it compare to other politicians’ pay?

Spain's Congress of Deputies
Spain's lower house of parliament, the Congress of Deputies, during a climate protest earlier in 2022.

THE current coalition government is run by the Socialist Party and junior partner Unidas Podemos. Next year, according to the 2023 budget, the politicians that make up the executive will raise their salaries by 4%.

This is in line with the increase that civil servants – funcionarios, as they are known in Spanish – will also receive. 

But the pay hikes for the government have been questioned by the opposition as well as Spanish citizens. 

Here is a rundown of the pay received by Spain’s national leaders, and how it compares both to regional and international counterparts. 

What is the average salary in Spain? First of all, to provide some context, the average gross salary in Spain is €25,165 a year, according to the latest figures from the National Statistics Institute (INE). 

How much do Spain’s ministers earn? Currently, Spanish government ministers earn roughly triple that, with a salary of €76,355, according to figures cited by Spanish daily El País. The deputy prime ministers, meanwhile, earn €84,600 a year. 

How much is the prime minister paid? Pedro Sánchez receives a yearly salary of €86,542. According to the budget for next year, this figure will rise to €90,010. 

How does this compare to other European leaders? The president of France, Emmanuel Macron, earns more than double the salary of Sánchez: €182,400. It should be pointed out, of course, that the average salary in France is 56% higher. However, according to figures cited in El País, Macron earns 110% more than Sánchez. 

And in the rest of the world? The head of the Swiss government earns €469,480 a year while the US president is paid €411,618. 

How much do other Spanish politicians earn? One of Sánchez’s major critics is Madrid regional premier Isabel Díaz Ayuso of the conservative Popular Party (PP). She has slammed the government for its salary rise, but earns €103,090 for her role – some €16,500 more than the prime minister. 

What about other regional premiers? The regional premier of Catalonia, Pere Aragonès, earns €132,885 a year after taking a 15% pay cut last year, according to figures from online daily La Información. The Basque Country premier, known as the lehendakari, makes €106,778. 

And the mayors? The mayor of Madrid, José Luis Martínez-Almeida, also of the PP, earns €108,517 a year. This, according to El País figures, is above that of the mayor of Paris, who takes home €103,800, as well as the mayor of Lisbon, who makes €62,688. The Madrid mayor also earns more than the Spanish prime minister. 

What do the politicians do with this money? The mayor of Barcelona, former social activist Ada Colau, earns a gross salary of €100,000. But she refuses to claim expenses for her work, and every year donates €25,600 to social projects chosen by her political party.

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Simon Hunter

Simon Hunter has been living in Madrid since the year 2000 and has worked as a journalist and translator practically since he arrived. For 16 years he was at the English Edition of Spanish daily EL PAÍS, editing the site from 2014 to 2022, and is currently one of the Spain reporters at The Times. He is also a voice actor, and can be heard telling passengers to "mind the gap" on Spain's AVLO high-speed trains.

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