World’s Poorest President (President of Uruguay)
Ever since Mujica became Uruguay’s 40th president in 2009, he chose not to accept the chauffeur-driven police escort to the elaborate presidential palaces of La Residencia de Suarez. Instead, Mujica will drive home to his wife Lucia at their modest farmhouse on the outskirts of Montevideo in one of his few owned assets, a 1987 Volkswagen Beetle.
Last year, published data showed he was donating 90% of his monthly salary to charity. This included support to a government-led project called Juntos, which aims to build low cost, accessible housing for many of the country’s poorest communities currently living in slums.
Such generosity, combined with his modest declaration of assets – including his VW Beetle, an old tractor and a small piece of land shared with his wife – quickly coined for him the moniker ‘the world’s poorest president’. However, speaking to members of the Associated Press last year, Mujica was quick to dismiss not the reality of the term, but the mentality behind it, stating: “I don’t feel poor. Poor people are those who only work to try to keep an expensive lifestyle, and always want more and more.”
“I don’t feel poor. Poor people are those who only work to try to keep an expensive lifestyle, and always want more and more”–José Mujica
Mujica has attempted to align himself with his people, and in choosing a life of simplicity he meets as many of his needs from his small farm as his busy head of state schedule will allow. His wife Lucia Topolansky, a senator herself, has long been growing chrysanthemums on the farm, which are sold at the local farmers’ market. This seemingly austere life was detailed in an interview with Topolansky for MercoPress in 2010, shortly after the presidential inauguration, where the couple admitted they“belong to the old cash generation – we have no bank accounts and have never owned credit cards.”
Posted by AkinJohn