– Austerity, moi? Nicolas Sarkozy spends £10k a day on food and keeps 121 cars under his palace (Daily Mail, Feb. 7, 2012):
Nicolas Sarkozy has been promising to cut back on his presidential spending, but he’s actually splashing out £10,000 a day on food and keeps 121 cars under the Elysee Palace, according to a new book.
Socialist MP Rene Dosiere, in L’argent de l’État (Money from the State), sets out what he sees as extraordinary excesses by the French President.
In the explosive book, he accuses Sarkozy of ‘ignoring the most elementary principles of the separation between private and public accounts’.
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 £500,000 palace garden party, but this doesn’t go far enough, according to Dosiere.
Just last week he sent a medical team to the Ukraine on board a state-owned private jet to attend to one of his sons, Pierre, and fly him back to Paris to the tune of £22,000.
His fleet of cars is double the size of predecessor Jacques Chirac’s and cost, annually, £100,000 to insure and a whopping £275,000 to fuel.
Then there are his huge travel costs.
He uses an Airbus A330 – dubbed Air Sarko One – that drained the public purse of £215million to kit out, is accompanied by a delegation of 300 people on trips abroad and travels more often that previous presidents, claims Dosiere.
Recent excursions include an 80-mile trip to Saint-Quentin, from Paris, that cost £350,000, a £109,000 sortie to the Lascaux caves with Bruni and a two-and-a-half-hour trip to Ain that Dosiere worked out cost £700 a minute.
What’s more, he 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 £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 £95million.
‘The figures make you giddy,’ says Dosiere.