Keyword: privilèges

Revealed: the hidden report on lavish perks paid to former French presidents

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(L-R): former presidents Nicolas Sarkozy, Valéry Giscard d’Estaing and Jacques Chirac with Jean-Louis Debray, former head of the Constitutional Council. © Reuters (L-R): former presidents Nicolas Sarkozy, Valéry Giscard d’Estaing and Jacques Chirac with Jean-Louis Debray, former head of the Constitutional Council. © Reuters

A confidential report submitted to President François Hollande two years ago and never made public, authored by the heads of France’s Court of Audit and State Council, estimates the total annual cost of specific perks paid to the country’s three surviving former presidents, plus the provision of personal security protection, at 10.3 million euros, Mediapart can reveal. The 26-page document, published here, recommends that the lavish privileges accorded to them be reduced for reasons of “modernization, transparency and control of public spending”. Mathilde Mathieu reports.

Revealed: the true cost of Sarkozy's lavish publicly-funded privileges

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Nicolas Sarkozy quitte l'Elysée après sa défaite en mai 2012 © Reuters Nicolas Sarkozy quitte l'Elysée après sa défaite en mai 2012 © Reuters

Former French presidents are provided for life with a system of privileges that are estimated to cost the French taxpayer between 1.5 and 2 million euros per former president per year.  In the case of Nicolas Sarkozy, elected last year as head of the conservative UMP party ahead of his expected bid to regain the presidential office, the taxpayer funds, among other perks, his central-Paris offices and staff which cost, respectively, 215,392 euros and 663,000 euros per year. Mediapart publishes here the detailed costs of Sarkozy’s startling privileges paid by the public purse, never previously revealed. They raise serious questions over the dividing line for the use of the funds, between the personal and political activities of former president, who meanwhile argues for drastic reductions in public spending and the reform of social benefits paid to the worse-off. Mathilde Mathieu reports.