When Guillaume Larrivé, an MP for Sarkozy’s UMP party, tabled a question to Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault asking how much Trierweiler’s staff at the Elysée presidential palace cost the taxpayer, he probably did not expect the answer he received.
Trierweiler’s staff of five cost 19,742 euros a month, officials reported, but they went to the trouble of providing similar figures for the previous administration “for comparison”.
Bruni-Sarkozy had a staff of eight at the Elysée at a cost of 36,448 euros a month.
But she also outsourced the running of her website, adding another 25,714 euros for two people’s salaries to the bill, bringing the total to 60,000 euros a month, more than three times what Trierweiler’s team costs.
Larrivé had some explaining to do when he appeared on Europe 1 radio on Saturday morning after the figures had hit the headlines.
“Madame Sarkozy is extremely well known, lots of people wanted to contact her, especially by mail, and she was following the tradition of wives,” he said.
“The president’s partner is not Madame François Hollande,” he pointed out without expanding on the pertinence of the observation.