London: French President Nicolas Sarkozy spends GBP 10,000 a day on food and keeps 121 cars at his Elysee Palace, a new book has claimed.
In the book titled L’argent de l’Etat (Money from the State), socialist MP Rene Dosiere describes what he sees as extraordinary excesses by the French President and accuses Sarkozy of “ignoring the most elementary principles of the separation between private and public accounts”, the Daily Mail reported.
Sarkozy, whose palace budget exceeds that of the Queen, recently stated that there will be a “rupture” with his past money-splurging ways and more transparency.
He has cancelled the annual GBP 500,000 palace garden party, but this doesn’t go far enough, according to Dosiere.
Just last week, he sent a medical team to Ukraine on board a state-owned private jet to attend to one of his sons, Pierre, and fly him back to Paris at the expense of GBP 22,000.
His fleet of cars is double the size of predecessor Jacques Chirac’s and cost, annually, GBP 100,000 to insure and a whopping GBP 275,000 to fuel. Then there are his huge travel costs.
Dosiere claims Sarkozy uses an Airbus A330 – dubbed Air Sarko One - that drained the public purse of GBP 215 million to kit out. He travels more often than previous presidents.
Recent excursions include an 80-mile trip to Saint-Quentin, from Paris, that cost GBP 350,000, a GBP 109,000 sortie to the Lascaux caves with Bruni and a two-and-a-half-hour trip to Ain that cost GBP 700 a minute, according to Dosiere.
Further, the author wrote that the President never seems to linger anywhere to meet locals and absorb their culture.
‘Mitterrand and Chirac knew how to take their time admiring a landscape, meeting people, interesting themselves in the history of the host country, Sarkozy behaves like a man in a hurry,’ complains Dosiere.
The French people also chip in for a thousand pounds worth of daily newspapers and Sarkozy’s ‘house’ wine, the red option being a GBP 160 bottle of Crozes-Hermitage, which guests use to wash down foods such as lobster carpaccio and calves cheeks.
His total annual expenditure comes to GBP 95 million - the figures that make you giddy - says Dosiere.