From the New York Times:
"Paris, Feb. 26 - Finance Minister Hervé Gaymard resigned today after 12 weeks on the job following revelations that he and his family were renting an $18,470-a-month luxury apartment in Paris paid for by the state.
"I am aware of having committed blunders and in the first place a serious error of judgment concerning the condition of my official residence," Mr. Gaymard said in a statement, reiterating his pledge to pay back the government for renovations and other costs."Hmm, he is "aware of having committed blunders".
Please note that he's been on the job for only 12 weeks and has already accrued costs for renovations.
"Mr. Gaymard, 44, and his wife, Clara, 45, France's ambassador-at-large to attract foreign investment, broke no laws in choosing a 6,500-square-foot duplex apartment close to the Elyseé Palace that would accommodate them and their eight children."
So that's 10 people at 6,500 sf gives each of them 650 sf of personal space. Well that's like a reasonable studio apartment per person practically. Sheesh...
Pity the poor Interior Minister who lives with his family (5 total) in a mere 2,100 sf. That's a cramped 420 sf per person.
Even the foreign Minister gets 430 sf per person for his family of five.
Oddly enough though the French take the defense of La Republique very seriously, as the Defense Minister is given a whopping 750 sf in which to splash out in.
However the Times does report that "she spends a considerable amount of time with a companion at his country house in Rueil Malmaison outside of Paris."
Putain! She gets to eat her cake and keeps one in the city too!
Oh mon dieu it gets better.
"In addition to the high rent, there was an additional $3,300 a month for maintenance and three parking spaces, $42,000 to renovate the apartment and the parking area and $16,000 for real estate fees."
But remember $42,000 bucks is only like €31,000 and in France that probably only gets you paint chips.
But then in a more worrisome statement, considering that he is the Finance Minister:
"Earlier, he had said that as someone who worked "120 hours a week," he hadn't had the time to check on the amount of the rent for the apartment."
Smells like merde to moi. First of all, you work in FRANCE! Those 120 hour weeks are compensated by like 17 weeks of vacation. And second of all what Finance Minister doesn't read the fine print? I mean c'mon really!
But just in case you feel a twinge of pity for the poor fella and his Partridge Family, keep this in mind:
"Paris is suffering from a severe housing shortage amid skyrocketing prices for both renters and buyers. The cost of the apartment is the equivalent of the annual minimum wage for a worker in France."
Not just that but:
"It turns out that Mr. Gaymard owns a 2,150-square-foot apartment on Boulevard St.-Michel in the heart of the Latin Quarter that he rents out for $3,000 a month."
I say, let them all squeeze in to that wee matchbox.