Skip to comments.No expense spared for Chirac, the Teflon president
Posted on 10/20/2006 5:42:58 PM PDT by MadIvan
A LEGENDARY bon viveur, president Jacques Chirac endears himself to the French with his jet-setting charisma even as his excessive taste for the good things in life repeatedly lands him in hot water.
Critics have accused Mr Chirac of living as a high-roller at the taxpayers' expense.
In 2002, he was accused of using the public purse to pay for scarcely credible self-indulgence, after a leaked document revealed that he and his wife Bernadette had run up a £1.4 million personal grocery bill during eight of the 19 years that he spent as mayor of Paris.
A formal investigation was launched against him and only dropped when he claimed presidential immunity.
Later the "Travelgate" scandal emerged suggesting Mr Chirac had paid £300,000 in cash for lavish holidays to exotic locations for himself and his family while he was mayor.
However France's "Teflon president" successfully contested the accusations, insisting the cash payments were for security reasons rather than money laundering.
The ensuing scandal did force him to give up his customary £46,000 vacation at the £2,000 a night suite in the Royal Palm Hotel on the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius, for the considerably more austere decor of his official holiday residence at Fort Brégancon near Toulon.
One of the most astounding reports of Mr Chirac's extravagant use of taxpayers' money for his own personal comfort is that he ordered the presidential jet to make a 1,200-mile detour across Europe so he could enjoy a good night's sleep, uninterrupted by take off or landing, before attending a breakfast meeting with president Vladimir Putin in Russia in 2004.
The people that repeatedly voted him in did not seem to mind at the time.
graft doesn't bother me that much (it is the nature of the beast) AS LONG AS the pol gets the job done. Maybe I seem cynical but the only way to get a pol who doesn't want to get rich is to find one who already is.
"One of the most astounding reports of Mr Chirac's extravagant use of taxpayers' money for his own personal comfort is that he ordered the presidential jet to make a 1,200-mile detour across Europe so he could enjoy a good night's sleep, uninterrupted by take off or landing, before attending a breakfast meeting with president Vladimir Putin in Russia in 2004."
actually, this is the only thing in the article that seems justifiable. Meeting the head of state of a major power on a bad night's sleep is not in the national interests at all. I am baffled this is even added into the lot, but presumably french voters are collectively as stupid as american voters.
Or to put the question another way - would freepers like bush meeting putin on 4 hours sleep or 8, even if it requires some extra jet fuel to stay in the air?
It's good to be king.
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