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Politics

João Lourenço doubles the amount of subsidy of former Presidents of the Republic

The President, João Lourenço, doubled the amount of the end-of-term allowance paid to former heads of state, but cut other benefits, notably in terms of security and staff.

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Presidential Decree 32/20, published on 17 February in the Diário da República with amendments to the regulations governing the status of former Presidents of the Republic, states in its preamble that "there was a need to improve the previous procedures" "in order to give the most appropriate and dignified treatment to the former Presidents and former Vice-Presidents of the Republic".

The end-of-term allowance, which in the previous regulation, approved by former President José Eduardo dos Santos, was equivalent to six basic salaries of the President of the Republic for each year of office, is now 12 salaries.

For the spouse, the subsidy increases from 60 per cent of three basic salaries of a minister to 60 per cent of 12 salaries of a minister.

However, the law also introduces differences in terms of benefits.

If the previous decree stipulated that former heads of state were entitled to "special protection and security of their residence and other protocol facilities, as well as the places to which they go", the decree now signed by João Lourenço mentions only the protection and security of the official residence.

José Eduardo dos Santos currently lives in a villa in Barcelona.

The new diploma also brings new features in terms of staff.

In the previous version, the team associated with the former presidents' work office consisted of more than ten people: a director, two consultants, two assistants, a secretary and administrative staff made up of two officers, a courier and two drivers.

In the shorter version of João Lourenço, the staff of the working office, which is part of the temporary staff, is made up of a cabinet director, two consultants, a secretary, two administrative staff and a driver.

In the case of holiday trips (one per year, in first class, with allowances for the former President, spouse and minor children at home or abroad), the heads of state can no longer be accompanied by two staff from their work office, while retaining the possibility of taking two personal security guards.

José Eduardo dos Santos is the only former President still alive, having succeeded Agostinho Neto in 1979 (after a period of 11 days in which governance was assigned temporarily to Lúcio Lara) and led the destinies of the country for 38 years.