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Sarkozy Lifestyle Dents Hollande Efforts to Narrow Budget Gap

Keeping former President Nicolas Sarkozy in style costs the French taxpayer more than 2 million euros ($2.6 million) annually as his successor drags citizens through an unprecedented shrinking of the state budget.

Sarkozy, Jacques Chirac and Valery Giscard d’Estaing, the three living French ex-presidents, are each entitled -- like their U.S. counterparts -- to an office, staff and a lifetime of security at taxpayers’ expense. Unlike the U.S., where the compensation and perks of ex-presidents are capped by the “Former Presidents Act,” France has no laws that limit or review the benefits.