The sum emerged in a public audit
Nicolas Sarkozy and his wife Carla Bruni have been spending more than £660 a day on flowers.
The extraordinary sum was revealed in a public audit which comes in the middle of the worst recession for decades. The couple also used taxpayers’ money to settle £3,000 of fines for late payment of electricity and gas bills.
But it is their annual payments to florists to supply the Elysee Palace which has caused the most astonishment. At £241,000 per year, the sum is even greater than spent by Elton John, who was revealed to spend around £460-a-day on flowers in 1997.
The sum emerged in presidential accounts for 2008, Mr Sarkozy’s first full year in office, during which he made Miss Bruni his third wife. The former model turned pop singer is particularly fond of fresh flowers, and is frequently pictured arranging huge vases full of them inside the Elysee.
The figures were part of the first state audit of a French leader’s spending since the reign of Louis XVI. An Elysee Palace spokesman said the floral bill was being reduced, and that the 2008 figures were welcomed as a move towards ‘transparent government’.
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