After a legislature plagued by scandals, Irene Montero He said goodbye to the government this Thursday in an investiture session where the image of the until now Minister of Equality and his faithful squire, Ione Belarra, perfectly reflected the loneliness of a Podemos completely canceled by Sumar.
“Thank you from the bottom of my heart to those who spoke today. #SalamatIreneThankIone. Together and not putting ourselves in profile, we know that the change in this country is worth it. We gave it our all, and despite fierce resistance, the best is yet to come”, Montero wrote on his X account, formerly Twitter. However, the truth is that his political future is now up in the air.
With his return to the topic of equality rejected, many are considering the possibility that he will be the visible face of Podemos for the 2024 European elections, where the purple formation considered attending alone after announcing her breakup with Sumar. If not, there’s always room for Red Canal, the television founded by Pablo Iglesias, although it has had little success so far. But if he does not want to work, the minister can sit without work for two years because he will benefit from severance pay for high positions, which, in his case, amount to more than 120,000 euros.
If he stands in the European elections, the question is whether he will get the votes needed to be seated. In the 2019 elections, each Spanish MEP should count on average 376,429 votes; in 2014, it was 240,000. The advantage is that, in European elections, a single constituency is available. However, Spain has not yet complied with the community order urging member states to set up a minimum threshold that goes into Parliament and that can oscillate between 2 and 5%. Therefore, Irene Montero’s seat may also depend on what the government decides, which has already started negotiations with pro-independence parties.
If he achieves this, the minister is thus far guaranteed a juicy salary: nothing less than 9,975.42 gross euros per month, more than twice that of a Spanish deputy. In addition, with that amount, Montero can add an allocation of 28,412 euros to hire an assistant and another game of 4,778 euros for expenses in the office, the purchase and maintenance of computer equipment and telephones, as well as organizing conferences and exhibitions.
Also, I would have done all the trips—transportation, accommodation, and subsistence allowance—to Brussels, Strasbourg, and any other place where official meetings are held, as well as those held by other member states in the exercise of their functions, up to an annual maximum, in the latter case, of 4,716 euros per year. Likewise, you have the right to a refund of two-thirds of your medical expenses.
Compensation for senior officers
If he could not sit down, Irene Montero would have solved his life for a while, because he would benefit from severance pay as a minister who, as established by the General State Budget Law of 1981 (art. 10, number 5, first rule), amounts to the equivalent of 80% of salary received until then, for a period equal to the duration of the mandate and up to a maximum of two years.
Irene Montero was appointed Minister of Equality on January 13, 2020, so that she can enjoy the maximum allowed. As stated in the Transparency Portal, his salary will increase to 77,478.24 euros in 2022. In this way, you can collect a monthly payment of 5,165 euros for the next two years, or, in other words, a total of 123,965 euros.
All this, if you request it, and as long as you remain unemployed during all this time, since Royal Decree-Law 20/2012, of July 13, establishes that this assistance is not compatible with any other wage from public or private activities. In any case, if he finally runs and wins a seat in the European elections, he can always collect it until he gets it, because it is a subsidy that is collected every month.
His couple, Pablo Iglesias, already benefited from this subsidy when he resigned as vice president and minister of social rights in March 2021. However, a few months later, he had to leave it to continue earning for his usual collaboration with various media outlets and establish his own: Canal Red. In total, as shown in the aforementioned Transparency Portal, he received a total of 27,290.96 euros, at a rate of more than 5,300 euros per month.