London: For France`s First Couple, 660 pounds seem to be a meagre amount -- Nicolas Sarkozy and his ladylove Carla Bruni spend the money everyday to buy flowers for each other.
The extraordinary sum was revealed in a public audit of the presidential accounts for 2008 -- Sarkozy`s first full year in office, during which he made Bruni his third wife. In fact, the figures were part of the first state audit of French leader`s spending since the reign of Louis XVI.
The couple also used taxpayers` money to settle 3,000 pounds of fines for late payment of electricity and gas bills.
But, it is their annual payments to florists to supply Elysee Palace which has caused the most astonishment, `The Daily Telegraph` reported.
At 241,000 pounds per year, the sum is even greater than spent by Elton John, who was revealed to spend around 460-pound-a-day on flowers in 1997.
Apart from Sarkozy, the former Italian supermodel- turned-pop singer is particularly fond of fresh flowers, and is frequently pictured arranging huge ases full of them inside the Elysee.
When contacted, an Elysee Palace spokesman told the British newspaper the floral bill was being reduced, and that the 2008 figures were welcomed as a move towards "transparent government".