Editorial 26: Meta-theater of public Companies
Recently a European government has announced an austerity plan consisting in a reduction of public companies director’s salaries. Leaving aside big companies, whose comparison with other private companies is too wide to make it in an editorial space. It is necessary to fix attention in comparing little and medium private companies as this corporate sector is which creates more jobs in all European countries.
Austerity plan consists in establish a maximum salary limit of 80.000 euros per year to Medium companies directives and 55.000 euros per year to Small companies directives plus supplements regarding the position occupied, established by the Minister of Finance, and a variable remuneration “absolutely linked” to objectives and also established by the Minister. On the other hand, it could not be added remunerations in kind (house, food, life insurance…) which exceeds the established limit. At no time is mentioned that if any public companies presents negative results, their directives will reduce its salary.
Austerity plan foresees a limitation of 15 counsellors as maximum which may be in Greater size companies. Medium companies could not have more than 12 directives and smaller, a maximum of 9 directives.
Finally, the Government considers that this plan will involve a saving from 25% to 35% in the salary of the executives; consequently, these salaries “will be lower than those handling in private sector for similar companies, but they still are reasonable salaries”.
European Union countries are in serious danger being controlled by such governments that ignore the situation of small and middle private companies, in a exercise of meta theatre, in the purest Luigi Pirandello style.
Consider the two main questions:
1.- The remuneration of the manager of a small public company will be 55000 Euros. Has the government wondered how many small businessmen of their country earn 55000 Euros? We can say with certain that almost none. How the government does dares to say that these salaries are reasonable and that they are lower than those handled in private sector?
2.- The maximum number of directors will be 9 for small public companies. Have the government wondered how many small companies of their country can afford, because of financial reasons, having 9 directors? We can say with certain that almost none.
If we concluded that the government is aware of the average remuneration of the businessmen, because it has fiscal information of each of them, we conclude that they are doing a work of metatheatre (consisting in introduce a “theatre within the theatre”) to introduce the idea that the world is a theatre, and also the theatre is a world, making the audience believe that a part of the script is reality. Which can be the objectives of this, almost theatrical, exercise? We can say with certain that these objectives are, firstly, to hide the waste of money in the previous situation (it is unknown if any director has been obligated to return the money or benefits in kind improperly received) and secondly, to maintain privileged jobs, without risk to the capital invested, without risk in case of negative balances and all of that disguised as a carnivalesque joke: austerity and sacrifice.
Maybe European Union citizens, and specially farmers and livestock owners subject to stricter government control and to a situation of economic ruin, can begin to think that those public companies are unnecessary and that the governments, in an exercise of real austerity, should close them, sell them and return to citizenship, as reduction of taxes, of that wasted money. If it was true that the services provided by these public companies are necessaries they should be included in the General Administration of the State and thus cease its involvement in a sector whose transparency has reasonable doubts.