The London Evening Standard reports that France’s new president, who “dislikes the rich,” made hay of Nicolas Sarkozy’s jet-setting lifestyle, and said while campaigning that “it is not possible” to make more than €1 million per year, is not quite the man of the people — or “Mr. Normal” — he has sought to portray himself as:
France’s new Socialist president owns three holiday homes in the Riviera resort of Cannes, it emerged today.
Francois Hollande, 57, who “dislikes the rich” and wants to revolutionise his country with high taxes and an onslaught against bankers, is in fact hugely wealthy himself.
His assets were published today in the Official Journal, the gazette which contains verified information about France’s government.
To the undoubted embarrassment of the most Left-wing leader in Europe, and a man who styles himself as “Mr Normal”, they are valued at almost £1 million.
It will also reinforce accusations that Hollande is a “gauche caviar”, or “Left-wing caviar” — the Gallic equivalent of a champagne Socialist.
Among his other assets are three current accounts in French banks — two with global giant Société Générale and one with the Postal Bank.
But it is the fabulous property portfolio which is causing the greatest stir among millions of ordinary French people who voted for Hollande over the conservative Nicolas Sarkozy last Sunday.
Mr Hollande regularly attacked the “bling-bling” presidency of Mr Sarkozy, whose multi-millionaire lifestyle with Italian-born heiress Carla Bruni contributed to his humiliating election defeat after just one term in office.
As well as the spacious Paris apartment he shares with his lover Valerie Trierweiler, Mr Hollande owns a palatial villa in Mougins, the hill-top Cannes suburb where artist Pablo Picasso used to live.
It is valued by the Official Journal at 800,000 euros (£642,000), and is just a short drive from Hollande’s two flats close to the promenade in Cannes. They are priced at 230,000 euros (£185,000) and 140,000 euros (£112,000). Mr Hollande has promised to cut his pay by 30 per cent after he is officially sworn in as president next week, but he will still be on 156,000 (£125,000) a year, plus fabulous expenses and other perks.
The rest here.