Amid record unemployment, painful labor reforms, economic collapse, and the most serious social unrest in decades, the shockingly 'let them eat cake'-ish revelations of French President Hollande's lifestyle will do little to improve the socialist's ratings from their record lows. As Bloomberg reports, a French satirical magazine has exposed the fact that Hollande’s hairdresser is paid a gross salary by the state of ~$11,000 per month (more than a European parliament member).
Although just a third less than Hollande’s salary, it is more than the gross monthly wage of a European Parliament member, which stands at about 8,213 euros, excluding expenses.
The salary paid to the Socialist president’s coiffeur at the Elysee presidential palace was confirmed by the government after satirical magazine Canard Enchaine published details of the terms, including an image of his contract.
As The Express reports, despite preaching austerity during his premiership, Mr Hollande’s outrageous contract with the barber is causing outrage.
The hairdresser, who the leaked contract names only as Oliver B, is set to earn half a million pounds over the course of Hollande’s current premiership, in exchange for being available at every waking moment and signing a contract promising not to speak about his position.
It read: “Mr B. commits to maintaining the utmost secrecy, during and after the completion of his contract, on the work he has done and the information he has had access to.”
The hairdresser issue sits at odds with Hollande’s campaign promise in 2012 that he’d be a “normal” head of state in contrast with his predecessor Nicolas Sarkozy, who earned the label of the “bling-bling” president for his Ray-Ban sunglasses and fancy vacations. It also comes at a time when Hollande is seeking to push through a bill that would shrink workers’ benefits and making firings easier.
“Everyone needs their hair done, no?” Stephane Le Foll, the government spokesman, said after the weekly cabinet meeting at the Elysee Palace Wednesday in Paris. “I can understand people’s questions, I can understand their judgments. He’s not just anybody, that’s all.”
Revelations about his hairdresser come two years after one of his closest aides, Aquilino Morelle, was forced to resign amid allegations of a conflict of interest and also because he reportedly used his Elysee office, overlooking the palace’s lawn, to have a shoe-shiner come in to brush his expensive leather shoes.
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