121 cars, €10,000 a day on food – book reveals the expensive tastes of France's golden couple
France may recently have suffered a credit agency downgrade, but President Nicolas Sarkozy's triple-A lifestyle in the Elysée Palace has been skewered in a new book.
Why should the French presidency, under Mr Sarkozy, operate twice as many cars as before? Why should President Sarkozy spend twice as much time travelling as his predecessor, President Jacques Chirac? Why does Mr Sarkozy spend an average of more than three hours a day in an aircraft?
L'Argent de l'Etat by René Dosière, an opposition Socialist politician who has chosen to publish the book less than three months before the presidential election, raises some awkward questions about the spending of both President Sarkozy and his Prime Minister François Fillon, at a time when national and local budgets are being squeezed.
Mr Dosière, a veteran campaigner against state extravagance, gives Mr Sarkozy credit where it is due. Unlike his predecessors, the President publishes an annual budget – €113m a year – for the expenses of the Elysée Palace.
Nonetheless, some bizarre and intriguing facts emerge. The Sarkozy Elysée operates 121 cars, compared to 55 under Mr Chirac. President Sarkozy travels twice as much as his predecessor. Since the beginning of his presidency, he has spent average of 24 hours a week in the air. About €10,000 a day is spent on food.
You may think a French President should occasionally take one of the country's high-speed trains. In fact, for security and cost reasons, this is impossible. An ancient rule demands a policeman must stand beside every railway bridge. As it is, every provincial trip by the President costs an average of €600,000,.
Mr Sarkozy's love of summitry is also examined by Mr Dosière. In 2008, the President hosted a two-hour long summit which cost the French taxpayer €17m – the equivalent of €58,000 a minute.
- 1 I was a Woman Against Feminism too
- 2 Fifty Shades of Grey movie trailer released: First look at Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey
- 3 Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?
- 4 Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
- 5 Israel has discovered that it's no longer so easy to get away with murder in the age of social media
Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned
Peaches Geldof: Her final day – and her fatal decision
Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
Israel-Gaza conflict: Israel may have committed war crimes, says UN human rights chief
John Barrowman praised for Commonwealth Games opening ceremony gay kiss
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia
£30000 - £38500 Per Annum + 25 days holiday, pension, subsidised restaurant: C...
£34000 - £37000 Per Annum + excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Lt...
£40000 - £45000 per annum + Pension, Holiday, Flexi-time: Progressive Recruitm...
£280 - £320 per day: Progressive Recruitment: C#, WinForms, Desktop Developmen...