Today's letter from the Editor
Today's Matrices
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

March On Cancer™ - Local Marketing and Promotions Volunteer

This is an unpaid voluntary role.: Cancer Research UK: We need motivational vo...

SEN Coordinator + Teacher

£1 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Job Purpose To work closely with the he...

Maths Teacher - Evening session

Negotiable: Randstad Education Birmingham: I am looking for a qualified experi...

Teaching Assistants

£50 - £85 per day: Randstad Education Preston: Rapidly developing and growing ...

Page 3 Profile: Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, singer

Another day, another faux pas?

You’re never going to see Carla tilling the soil on the peasant farms of rural France, but sometimes you wonder whether it might do the wife of the former president a bit of good to appear a bit more down-to-earth. The French are up in arms over the fact their national airline treated her to a return flight to New York worth €11,000 for free, even covering her €500 airport taxes. Air France’s chief executive, Alexandre De Juniac, is a former aide to her husband Nicolas.

Is this all that bad?

Sadly it is. Air France is shedding jobs as part of a drive to save €2bn. So while Carla is enjoying her liberté she’s seemingly flung egalité and fraternité out of the window – a very high window.

The unions must be furious.

France’s strike-happy union-masters make Bob Crow look like a field mouse – they’re apoplectic. Union spokesman Léon Crémieux said: “To use the company for one’s friends, or friends of friends, is dishonest, particularly at a time when the workers are being asked to take a hit.”

Has Air France waved the white flag of surrender?

Non! They’ve opted for the Gallic shrug. Former Presidents and their families are, “in accordance with tradition”, allowed to “take advantage of transport facilities in the highest reservation category”.

Any other privileges we should know about?

Ms Bruni-Sarkozy earned almost £5m per year at the height of her modelling career and remains a successful musician, but her husband still enjoys a raft of ex-presidential benefits. Former heads of state get apartments, substantial social security payments, a personal driver, bodyguards and maids. These privileges are thought to deprive the French taxpayer of between €1.5-2m per year per ex-president.

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Career Services

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week