Poor leaders, rich leaders, why is the gap so big? Obama’s visits cost nearly 2 million U.S. dollars a day; Merkel only lives in business rooms abroad; Cameron does not have his own special plane.

香港特区政府特首办近日披露,自2007年11月至2010年11月期间,特首曾荫权外出访问40次,开支总金额98.7086万港币(1港币约合0.85元人民币),其中机票54万港币,最高单笔外访费用14.19万港元。

The chief executive of Hong Kong only spent less than one million on a one-year visit. One reason that cannot be ruled out is that of Tsang's 40 outing arrangements, 32 of them came to the mainland of China, and the accommodation fee is generally borne by the organizer. Of course, even with reasonable accommodation fees, it still does not lose its world-class cleanliness. Tsang Yinquan went out to "go straight to the theme", with an average stay of no more than three days, and even three trips on the same day. In addition, on June 2008, 6, he went to the United States for a vacation. Although he took a trip on business, Tsang Yinquan paid for the air ticket out of his own pocket, which shows that he has a clear separation between public and private. The chief executive of Tsang Yinquan should be so tight, how about the leaders of other countries or regions when they are visiting?

Obama's visit is very luxurious

When it comes to pomp, the most particular person is of course US President Obama. A week, visiting three countries, 6000 million to 1 million US dollars spent, US President Barack Obama's first trip to Africa after his re-election was rated by the media as one of his most expensive overseas trips. This is an estimate made by The Washington Post.

On November 2010, 11, Obama started his visit to four Asian countries from India. During the visit to India, people noticed that Obama and his party had 5 planes and 40 bullet-proof cars. This was the largest logistical scale and the most manpower mobilization in the US President’s overseas visit. Obama himself rode in a black Cadillac sedan, nicknamed "Barack Mobile Fortress". It not only has its own communication center, but also the US nuclear weapons launch code and nuclear switch switches. This car can also withstand chemical weapons, bacterial weapons and even bomb attacks.

Indian media also reported that in order to protect Obama's personal safety, the US military also dispatched 34 warships to escort. The grandeur of Obama's pomp has aroused many dissatisfaction. U.S. Republican Congressman Michele Buckman said that Obama will book all the rooms in the Taj Mahal Hotel in Mumbai: "He visited India with 2000 people and booked 870 rooms. The cost is simply too high." The Taj Mahal Hotel Obama stayed at was the hotel where more than 2008 people died in the terrorist attack at the end of November 11. Therefore, the Indian and American entourages are cautious. The hotel is surrounded by a group of secret agents, and nearby buildings are heavily guarded. The Indian government sent a total of 100 police officers to protect Obama's safety.

Indian newspapers reported that Obama’s expenditure in Asia was 2 million U.S. dollars per day (1 U.S. dollar equals 6.6 yuan). The news aroused strong reactions from the American people. White House spokesperson Gibbs immediately refuted the rumors at the press conference, saying that this statement was completely untrue. Gibbs did not say how much the trip will cost, but said it will not be higher than the cost of the visit of former President Bush Jr. or Clinton.

In fact, since Obama took office, the ostentation of his overseas visits has been very large. During Obama's visit to China in November 2009, many people noticed that he stepped off the plane alone and did not have the front-and-back position, which made people think he was a simple car. But no one may know that the "Air Force One" special plane he took, the cost of one hour of flying is enough for ordinary Americans to buy a house.

In October 2010, the Fox News Network of the United States issued a report stating that the "Air Force One" cost 10 US dollars per hour. The author of the report, Demian Brady, said: "This is amazing. President Obama’s travel is much higher than other people’s expenses, and this is only a small part of President Obama’s total travel expenses."

Let’s just talk about his special car. Every time Obama travels, 12 identical "presidential cars" leave the White House at the same time to confuse the eyes and ears. In terms of accommodation, Obama’s habit is to cover the entire hotel wherever he goes. During his visit to China in 2009, Obama stayed at the International Club Hotel on Chang'an Street in Beijing and booked all 268 guest rooms in the hotel. He lived in the only presidential suite with a daily rent of about 6 yuan. In the past two years, every time Obama or the first lady Michelle Obama went on vacation, the Americans would be accused by the Americans of invigorating teachers and spending too much.

But it is still too early to say that Obama is the most extravagant president in American history, because his term has not yet ended. According to the audit report of the U.S. government, Clinton is the president with the most visits abroad in U.S. history, with a total of 55 overseas trips. In the last three years of his term, his travel expenses were as high as $2.92 million; former President Bush Jr. made a total of visits. 49 times.

It is worth mentioning that when Hillary Clinton was the first lady, she preferred to visit abroad. At that time, she visited nearly ten times a year, and the average transportation cost was 60 US dollars. Now, you are the US Secretary of State, Hillary Hillary. The frequency of visits is higher, and the cost of each visit is far greater than that of the year.

Who pays for the president's mother's visit?

After all, whether as the first lady or as the secretary of state of the United States, Hillary's overseas visits are all work needs, and it is justified. But French President Nicolas Sarkozy took his mother on a trip abroad, and almost caught fire.

When Sarkozy visited China in November 2007, when he had just divorced and the position of the "first lady" was vacant, Sarkozy took his 11-year-old mother for a trip in a creative way. In this regard, his explanation is: "Mother is very important in Chinese culture." The implication is that showing filial piety is to show good to China.

But he took his son Pierre at the same time, which made the French media unbearable: "My mother is not an entrepreneur, nor a member of the government cabinet. Who pays for her expenses?"

The French daily "20 Minutes" reporter Alexander called the press office of the Elysée Palace to inquire about the matter. Presidential spokesman David Martinnon told him that it was Sarkozy’s own idea for the president’s mother to visit. As president, Sarkozy has The right to decide the entourage of the visit. But what Alexander and many French people want to know is, whose money did the president’s mother pay for the follow-up visit? What benefits can it bring to the French?

Martinnon said that as an entourage personally invited by the president, the expenses of Sarkozy's mother and son will naturally be paid for by the president himself, but many French people do not. Some French people complained on the Internet: "Isn't it because my mother wants to travel, why do you talk about Chinese culture?" This makes sense, because Sarkozy himself admitted that he first asked his mother to visit At the time, the old man was a little hesitant, but later he mentioned that he could go to Xi'an to see the terracotta warriors and horses, and the old lady readily agreed.

Although the question of who paid for the visit of the president's mother and son was later resolved and became a mess, Sarkozy's filial piety has paid off. The Chinese media praised Sarkozy's "mother diplomacy" unanimously, and Sarkozy also successfully received an order of 200 billion euros from China.

Merkel: Real thrift or fake thrift?

During the same visit to China, German Chancellor Merkel was much lower-key. In August 2007, Merkel visited Nanjing and went straight to Nanjing University to participate in activities without arriving at the hotel after getting off the plane. In the evening, she did not choose to stay in a presidential suite with more than 8 square meters on the top floor of a five-star hotel in Nanjing and a panoramic view of Nanjing. Instead, like business guests, she stayed in an ordinary suite with an area of ​​more than 400 square meters. There are two sets on each floor of the hotel. The charge for a regular suite, including the service charge, is less than RMB 70, which is only 1800/1 of the presidential suite.

But time has passed, and with the arrival of 2011, Merkel seems to be more and more extravagant. German media reported on January 1 that Merkel’s new special plane crew will arrive in March this year. The German Chancellor can take the new Airbus A21 to participate in the G3 summit, or go to Greece and Ireland to negotiate with the heads of governments of each other. The matter of reducing government expenditure.

According to media reports, this time the German government purchased two specially customized Airbus A340s and several A319s at one time, as well as several fighter jets for escort, with a total expenditure of approximately US$1.3 million.

It is said that Merkel's special planes should have been replaced long ago, because most of these planes are old planes that have been purchased before the reunification of East and West Germany, and they are constantly malfunctioning. In 2008, the former German President Kohler came to Beijing to participate in the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games. Because of the breakdown of the special plane Airbus A310, he had to take a commercial flight. In 2009, Merkel went to Brussels to attend the EU summit. After taking off, her special plane broke down and made an emergency landing in the German city of Hanover.

It was time for the special plane to be changed, but the timing was wrong. At present, the European Union, mainly France and Germany, is embarking on a rescue of the Irish and Greek governments that are in the debt crisis. Merkel has also suggested that the two governments deal with the special planes to repay the debt. British Prime Minister Cameron can only charter flights when visiting. In November last year, French President Nicolas Sarkozy flew to South Korea to participate in the G11 summit in a new special plane that was purchased for 1.76 million US dollars. Merkel also warned him not to use the new special plane for the sake of his reputation, "so as not to be detained as a'luxury president' Title".

But only three months later, Merkel herself has a new plane comparable to Sarkozy. Two of the Airbus A340 wide-body planes were purchased from Lufthansa and have been carefully modified. However, a spokesman for the German government said that the modification was only to meet functional needs.

Leaders have to be extravagant

It must be admitted that sometimes the "luxury" of leaders is compelling. We have seen the different attitudes of leaders of various countries and regions on the expenditure of overseas visits. However, another major expenditure-the cost of receiving leaders from other countries, sometimes cannot be saved or saved, because the scale of reception is often interpreted as two The degree of importance attached to national relations.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has visited Germany several times since he took office, each time he was treated by Merkel. When he made his first official state visit to Germany in 2008, the size of the fleet caused an uproar in the media.

A German university student told the special reporter of World Expo that he had seen Merkel’s own motorcade. The huge black car Merkel was riding in was enough to surprise him, but Medvedev’s motorcade almost It is twice as long as Merkel's convoy, and there are several armed escorts as large as a bus mixed in the convoy. It is unknown how many advanced weapons are hidden in it. One of his classmates also sighed and said: "These cars burned with gasoline imported from Russia from Germany. No wonder Medvedev doesn't feel distressed."

German media have also reported that Merkel spent US$2500 million to receive the visit of former US President Bush, and that the cost of a caravan such as Medvedev is only a small fraction of the total expenditure. It seems that it is easy for leaders to spend less on their own visits, but if they want to reduce expenditures on reception fees, it depends on whether the other party is willing to go to the countryside and do what they like. When you encounter the other party, you are unwilling to put down the air and talk about ostentation. I am afraid that the cost of reception and visits will inevitably rise.

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