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02.27.16

Confirmed by Dutch Media (Telegraaf): Benoît Battistelli Makes Unreasonable Compensation Demands

Posted in Europe, Patents at 7:04 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Telegraaf article

Summary: Based on an article published late on Friday, Battistelli is hoping to get a presidential salary for several decades to come even once he’s out the Office, which makes imperative all sorts of hard questions

LITTLE by little many of the “rumours” we heard and learned about turn out to be facts. One such “rumour” was snowballing into what we later called "reinforced rumour" because the lawyer of SUEPO said it to Dutch media and now it’s actually in headlines of Dutch media, and not even with a question mark.

Battistelli must be living in a dream; based on his salary (which we think we now know, and it’s a lot less than publicly assumed), he wishes to receive a presidential salary until he’s about a hundred years old (if the compensation was to be split into annual ‘chunks’, along the lines of Brimelow’s pay grade). He should be the one compensating the EPO for the damage he did to it after more than four decades of reputation-building efforts (the damage may be valued at billions of euros).

Human-corrected (by Petra Kramer) machine translation of this new article (“Franse despoot wil 18 miljoen bij vertrek”, published 18:36 CET on Friday) can be found below, with a few bits highlighted in yellow:

French despot wants 18 million on departure

by Marieke van Essen

THE HAGUE – The controversial French president of the European Patent Office (EPO), Benoît Battistelli, “demands 18 million, or ten years’ salary on his departure.” According to sources within the international organization, which has an office in Rijswijk among other places.

Battistelli is already under fire for some time because of his reign of terror that according to the union. He deteriorated working conditions and suggested severe reprisals against trade unionists who criticize his policies. In Rijswijk two representatives are at home on sick leave after being submitted to alleged “intimidating integrity investigations”. The last three years regrettably there were five suicides at the EPO.

Meanwhile, not only the staff are complaining, but for the first time the Member States (38 countries) turned against the Frenchman who took office in 2010. This is evident from a letter from Jesper Kongstad, the Danish president of the Administrative Council, a sort of supervisory board in which the 38 participating countries are represented.

Kongstad, whose letter is in possession of the Telegraaf, requests Battistelli to investigate any disciplinary measures against members of the union by an external committee. “Unfortunately we can not carry any meaningful conversation with the president,” writes Kongstad.

EPO staff who are in contact with the outside world through secret email addresses and telephone numbers, managed to tell that the days of Battistelli are numbered. “The chance that he will have to leave is huge. Twenty countries are against,” says one. “He’s already been called the man of eighteen million,” says the other. “It is a true dictatorship. We have already several deputy bosses who come from the French secret service or the military. It is really starting to be ridiculous. These types get paid more than 15 grand a month and do everything the big boss orders them to do.”

On March 16 delegates from the 38 participating countries officially vote on the proposals from Kongstad. Battistelli now lobbies with Member States to get them to abandon the independent investigation. According to the president, the EPO is “healthier than ever.”

This serves to prove a lot of what we wrote before, but the part about Battistelli’s salary we very much doubt as it would serve to suggest that his salary was hiked to almost 2 million euros (per annum). Battistelli’s salary will be the subject of a future post because it requires some further verification. Another possibility is that the number (18 million) is not correct and that it’s actually 10 years’ salary, based on extrapolation of a much lower figure (salary). We have been getting contradictory reports about the exact number, but it seems possible that 10 years’ salary is what Battistelli insists on. Either way, this is where Battistelli’s unacceptable secrecy about his salary (his predecessor disclosed hers) actually harms him even more.

“We have been getting contradictory reports about the exact number, but it seems possible that 10 years’ salary is what Battistelli insists on.”As someone told us a while back, “Alison Brimelow was massively into transparency. Seems odd that Battistelli could have demanded a much higher salary than her, unless he really, really promoted the “reforms” as some massive task of work that would totally change the office. For the better, I mean.”

For comparative purposes, as one person put it, “Martin Schulz (President of the European Parliament) gets 200K plus expenses, President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, gets 112.5% of the top civil service grade, which is around 300K.” Does Battistelli receive 6 (six!) times what the latter gets (President of the European Commission)? We doubt it. If it’s true, then that in itself is a massive scandal to come. Consider that people who control his salary are also more or less in his ‘circle’, which might lead to allegations of corruption (the Bygmalion Affair notwithstanding).

If Battistelli stays (until 2018, which is extremely improbable), he’ll be paid for 2-3 years’ work; why should he be paid for 10 (or more) upon resignation, caused to a large degree by his own folly? It beggars belief.

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