Uruguay president's wealth: 23-year-old VW Beetle

June 05, 2010 11:32 am | Updated 05:16 pm IST - Montevideo (Uruguay)

In this October 25, 2009 file photo, Uruguay's President Jose Mujica, 74, then a presidential candidate, works on his small flower farm, which is registered in his wife's name, on the outskirts of Montevideo. AP.

In this October 25, 2009 file photo, Uruguay's President Jose Mujica, 74, then a presidential candidate, works on his small flower farm, which is registered in his wife's name, on the outskirts of Montevideo. AP.

Uruguay's new President may be one of the world's poorest sitting leaders: Jose Mujica formally declared that his entire wealth amounts to a 1987 Volkswagen Beetle.

The 23-year-old car is valued at about $1,900. Since the former leftist guerrilla leader has no bank accounts or other assets and put his small flower farm in his wife's name, the car is all he owns, according to his sworn declaration, which appeared in Thursday's official bulletin.

Mr. Mujica's only reported income is his Presidential salary, about $11,000 a month. He gives 20 per cent of this to his political movement.

At 75, Mr. Mujica is used to an austere lifestyle. Not so his vice-president, Danilo Astori, whose declared wealth of $250,000 includes a house and car worth nearly 10 times Mr. Mujica's Beetle.

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