London, Nov 12 (IANS) He was once nicknamed “the poorest president in the world” but Uruguay’s President Jose Mujica has received a $1 million offer for his blue Volkswagen Beetle from an Arab Sheikh, media reports here said.
The Sheikh offered $1 million for the 1987 model – that has become a symbol of his austere lifestyle – the president told Uruguay’s weekly newspaper Busqueda.
Mujica, a former leftist guerrilla leader, said he would donate the amount to a scheme for the homeless, adding that he would be glad to sell the Beetle because he has “no commitment to cars”.
In 2010, the president’s annual personal income declaration was $1,800 – the value of his Beetle.
“Human beings have a bit of fetishism; we need certain material symbols,” said Mujica when asked why someone would pay a fortune for his little car.
Mujica gained popularity when he assumed Uruguay’s presidency in 2010 and declared that his entire wealth amounted to the 1987 Beetle.
Since then, in his official declarations of wealth – mandatory for an Uruguay president – he has included his farm and has been earning about $11,000 a month as president, the report added.
Out of his income, he has been donating 20 percent to his political movement.