London: Whether or not he returns to work as a lawyer, former French president Nicolas Sarkozy is entitled to lavish post-retirement perks - a hefty pension, a furnished apartment, a chauffeur-driven car and free air tickets.
Like all former French presidents, 57-year-old Sarkozy -- whose fondness for the symbols of wealth led to him being nicknamed President Bling Bling -- is to receive Euros 6,000 every month as "pension".
Moreover, if he decides to sit on the Constitutional Council, again his right as a former president, Sarkozy will get another Euros 11,500 a month. In fact this is paid whether he starts practicing law or not, `The Guardian` reported.
He also has the right to a "fully furnished and equipped" apartment paid for by the state, two police officers to ensure his security, a state car with two chauffeurs, seven office staff and free business-class travel on Air France.
And if he does fly abroad, Sarkozy has the right to stay in the local ambassador or consul`s residence.
Quoting `Europe 1`, the British newspaper reported that Sarkozy has already chosen himself a new "ex-President`s office" -- a 323-square-metre, 11-room apartment in the chic eighth arrondissement of Paris.
Sarkozy, who lost the presidential election to socialist Francois Hollande earlier this month, has taken over the first floor of the building, and the Euros 15,000-a-month rent will be paid for out of public coffers. The office is 200 metres from the law chambers where he has suggested he will practise.
The cost to the state of the benefits for each former French president has been estimated at about Euros 1.5 million a year.