That golden parachute turns to lead
True to her promises, Ukraine's Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko has stripped former President Leonid Kuchma of many of his presidential perks, which included cars, drivers, maids, cooks and assorted residences plus a fat pension.
He will get to keep his primary residence, so we needn't have the sorry spectacle of a homeless Kuchma, selling pencils on the street corner. According to the BBC he'll keep most of the benefits that were accorded ex-presidents in a 1992 law. His present lavish perks were approved by his own government only days before he left office -- sort of like the Clintons cleaning out the White House of its silver and furnishings.
Under the new arrangements - in line with the 1992 law on benefits for ex-presidents - Mr Kuchma will receive a reduced pension and have less staff.
. . . The BBC's Helen Fawkes, in Kiev, says the move will come as no surprise to the former president, as the arrangements for Mr Kuchma's retirement had been criticised by the new administration. The government is now reported to be planning changes to the law on benefits for former heads of state.