In contrast with his predecessor, whose food bills exceeded $700/day on average between 1988 and 1995, Sarko’s now saying adieu to the free lunch:
For the first time since French presidents moved into the mansion off Paris’s Champs Elysees in 1874, senior staff members have to pay for midday meals — 8 euros ($10.56) for a three- course repast delivered by white-jacketed waiters.
It’s part of an effort by the debt-laden government to rein in the president’s expenses. The Elysee has produced its first budget as the 54-year-old leader trims overhead. Sarkozy, who has sparked strikes for plans to reduce the civil service, says he hopes to set an example for a more frugal era of government.
Cheaper champagne, too:
Journalists on Sarkozy’s flights are now served a complimentary glass of Piper Heidseck champagne, which retails at 30 euros a bottle, instead of the 156 euro per bottle Laurent Perrier Grand Siecle.
If he included bloggers, we’d be happy with a bottle of Michelob Light.