Hollande's Hairdresser Paid $10,958 a Month by the French State

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Francois Hollande.

Photographer: Thierry Zoccolan/AFP via Getty Images
  • Government spokesman confirms presidential hairdresser’s wage
  • Hollande’s monthly gross salary is $16,506, excluding perks

French President Francois Hollande’s hairdresser is paid a gross salary by the state of 9,895 euros, or $10,958, a month.

Just a third less than Hollande’s own salary, it is more than the gross monthly wage of a European Parliament member, which stands at about 8,213 euros, excluding expenses. The salary paid to the Socialist president’s coiffeur at the Elysee presidential palace was confirmed by the government after satirical magazine Canard Enchaine published details of the terms, including an image of his contract.

“Everyone needs their hair done, no?” Stephane Le Foll, the government spokesman, said after the weekly cabinet meeting at the Elysee Palace Wednesday in Paris. “I can understand people’s questions, I can understand their judgments. He’s not just anybody, that’s all.”

The hairdresser issue sits at odds with Hollande’s campaign promise in 2012 that he’d be a “normal” head of state in contrast with his predecessor Nicolas Sarkozy, who earned the label of the “bling-bling” president for his Ray-Ban sunglasses and fancy vacations. It also comes at a time when Hollande is seeking to push through a bill that would shrink workers’ benefits and make firings easier.

On Call

Hollande has only just been picking up a little support in the polls after being France’s most unpopular president in history. He will face re-election next year if he chooses to seek a second term.

Revelations about his hairdresser come two years after one of his closest aides, Aquilino Morelle, was forced to resign amid allegations of a conflict of interest and also because he reportedly used his Elysee office, overlooking the palace’s lawn, to have a shoe-shiner come in to brush his expensive leather shoes.

The hairdresser, whose contract requires him to be on call at all times, is being paid a salary that’s comparable to that of some of Hollande’s cabinet advisers. The president himself has a gross salary of 14,910 euros per month, excluding bonuses and perks.

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