Fancy a free apartment on the Champs Elysées?

No problem! All you need to do is become Finance Minister in Raffarin's government. 14,000 euros of monthly rent graciously paid for you by the French tax payers. Plus you get a cook, a butler, a nanny and 2 housekeepers thrown in.

Don't believe me? Get a load of this:

(first a little piccie to get your appetite going)

“Les Champs Elysées, Paris”.

PARIS, Feb 16 (AFP) - French Finance Minister Herve Gaymard, under pressure after a report revealed he and his family were living in a posh state-funded apartment off the Champs-Elysées in Paris, said Wednesday he would give up the luxurious flat. (my eyes are watering in anticipation. Poor guy, don't you feel sorry for him?).

Le Canard Enchainé, a weekly newspaper specialising in political exposés, said Gaymard, his wife and their eight children were lodging in a vast two-storey, 600-square-metre (6,500-square-foot) flat in one of the French capital's most expensive neighbourhoods, along with a butler, a cook, a nanny and two housekeepers. (hey it takes staff to take care of all this space, ya know).

At EUR 14,000 (USD 18,000) a month, the newspaper reported, the rent - paid out of state coffers - was equal to Gaymard's monthly ministerial salary. (small aside note here for the peasants like you and I: 14,000 euros is what you get for an entire year of work on minimum wage).

Also noted were Gaymard's frequent exhortations for France to adhere to an austere budget to bring its public deficit back under 3 percent of output as required under the Stability and Growth Pact, which underpins the euro. (LOL, don't you just love politicians?).

The report prompted radio stations and other publications, including the popular Le Parisien newspaper, to scrutinise the living arrangements, which are well beyond the reach of all but the wealthiest of Paris residents.

In a statement released late Wednesday, Gaymard's ministry said his decision was solely based on "putting an end to a debate that has developed in the past few hours and protecting his family". (poor thing, what a sad story, I'm about to cry).

But the statement noted that Gaymard's rental of the apartment fulfilled conditions imposed on ministerial lodgings.

Soon thereafter, French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin announced that the lodging rules would be changed, with 80 square metres the maximum size for a state-funded minister's flat, with an additional 20 square metres per child.

Any additional surface area must be paid for by the ministers themselves, Raffarin's office said.

Under those rules, Gaymard would have the right to a 240-square-metre apartment. (yes, Mr Raffarin, but where is that gonna be? Still on the Champs Elysées? So it will only cost the French tax payers 5000 euros a month?).
Can you believe the hide of those right wing assholes? They really think they are back in royalty days. Motherfuckers.


look at all the little piggies... 

Posted by surrogate
2/18/2005 03:13:00 am  
Hey, do you have some dough lying around? I hear there is a cheap place becoming vacant on the Chanps Elysées. 

Posted by WhyNot
2/18/2005 03:40:00 am  
As far as I'm concerned this should be a crime and punishable by law. I heard on the news the other night a warning to the public to pay attention to those in the street because a man had died in the below freezing temps we've been having. Gaymard should spend a night on the streets and perhaps his priorities would change.

Posted by Dianne
2/18/2005 08:28:00 am  



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