The French are hypocrites about money, the soccer star Nicolas Anelka once said after his fellow citizens criticized his love of expensive sports cars, writes Bloomberg.
The Emmanuel Macron’s administration is hit with the resignation of its energy minister Francois de Rugy over lobster dinners.
The ex-minister of energy got the backlash of an independent media outlet that published a series of articles on his alleged lavish lifestyle behind closed door when he was heading the lower chamber of parliament.
He was serving lobster dinners and $550 bottles of wine at taxpayer expense to guests, the portal says, adding that he was doing this while making a public virtue of his zeal for transparency and belt-tightening.
But the minister protested that he was allergic to crustaceans and that champagne gave him a headache, but he insisted that dinners at France’s National Assembly had certain standards and customs to maintain.
Bloomberg says France had its share of champagne socialists (or gauche caviar) in the past; the former budget minister Jerome Cahuzac had a secret Swiss bank account. “De Rugy surely must be the first lobster ecologist, though,” it says.
<<Investigative website Mediapart describes de Rugy and his wife, a journalist at celebrity magazine Gala, as – living like royals on public funds – >>
It says they invited friends to “sumptuous receptions” in the Hôtel de Lassay, the official residence of the National Assembly president, or parliament speaker.
Mediapart claimed there were more than 10 dinners of this kind held between October 2017 and June 2018 where the staff served bottles of vintage wines and champagnes taken from parliamentary cellars to guests who were mainly personal friends of the couple.
The problem is not new in France but with a booming economy with the number of billionaires rising in the country, people are questioning whether politicians should spend taxpayer money that way.
Rich French people calls the questions a form of ‘hypocrisy among the French’ where one cannot show how much money they have and this includes football players who decided to play outside France.
World renown actor, Gerard Depardieu got entangled with the French tax authorities. France is a country with high taxes and it is unpardonable.
To circumvent the official interest in his financial success, Depardieu decided to take up the Russian citizenship which was heartily and personally granted to him by Vladimir Putin.