The President of France, François Hollande, spends more than $10,000 per month on hairdressing services. The fortunate stylist, who earns the same as a government minister, has a contract to “maintain absolute secrecy.”
The socialist president is facing controversy after the French newspaper Le Canard Enchaîné said the public administration is paying for Hollande’s haircuts. Stéphane Le Foll, a spokesman for Hollande, said he could understand “judgments and questions” involving the case.
Former Minister of Agriculture Le Foll has argued that the barber had to abandon his salon to serve President Hollande, 24 hours a day.
“Everyone has their hair done, don’t they?” Le Foll added, according to The Guardian.
Le Foll confirmed that “Olivier B” was hired with a salary of €9,895 ($ 11,016.60). The hairdresser also received the benefits of a housing allowance, said Le Canard Enchaîné. He has been working under high pressure since Hollande was elected in 2012.
Olivier B has even skipped the births of his children to attend demands of his job, added the French satirical newspaper. He has also accompanied the French politician on foreign trips around the world. His contract forces him to maintain “every gathered information” in secret.
— Mathieu von Rohr (@mathieuvonrohr) July 13, 2016
Politicians discuss Hollande’s expenses in haircuts: Sarkozy, Dosière, Valls
Sébastien Huyghe, a spokesman for the former President of France Nicolas Sarkozy, said Hollande “has lost touch with reality,” as reported by The Guardian. People on social media are referring to the scandal as “#coiffeurgate.”
The French Socialist Party has argued that expenses at the Elysée Palace, the official residence of the president, have been reduced by 20 percent since former President Sarkozy abandoned the place in 2012.
René Dosière, a member of the National Assembly of France, said the salary of the barber should not receive more attention that cuts in expenses achieved by the government. A spokesperson for the Prime Minister Manuel Valls told Le Figaro he does not have an official stylist.
France will carry out new presidential elections in the next year. Hollande had advertised himself during his 2012 campaign as a candidate who would be “a normal president,” in comparison with former President Sarkozy.
Users have been posting edited photographs featuring President François Hollande using different hairstyles. Other politicians such as the U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and the former Mayor of London Boris Johnson have also received attention for their hairstyles.
As everybody knows, but the haters & losers refuse to acknowledge, I do not wear a “wig.” My hair may not be perfect but it’s mine.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 24, 2013
Earlier in the year, the U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was criticized for spending $600 on a haircut in New York City. Valerie Trierweiler, the former partner of Hollande, has defended the French socialist on Twitter, saying he didn’t know about expenses on his haircuts.
“To be fair: F. Hollande did not know the hairdresser’s salary. I can attest to his anger when he later learned about it,” she tweeted, according to The Washington Post.
Approval rates of François Hollande classify him as an unpopular president, as reported by the New York Times.
Et soyons juste: F. Hollande n'était pas au courant du salaire du coiffeur. Je peux témoigner de sa colère lorsqu'il l'a su plus tard.
— Valerie Trierweiler (@valtrier) July 13, 2016
Source: The Guardian