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Emmanuel Macron. Photo supplied

Macron and the Elysée blow up the bill for flight travel

According to information published by the French Ministry of the Armed Forces, the bill for presidential trips is much higher than that of former President François Hollande.

Published: November 27, 2019, 8:48 am

    Paris

    From the “normal president” to the “president of the rich”, the difference between President Hollande and Macron is striking, at least as far as their movements by plane are concerned.

    Capital.fr reported that in 2018, the amount reimbursed by the Elysée to the Ministry of the Armed Forces in charge of the government fleet, is much higher than in 2015, when François Hollande was in charge.

    For the past year, this amount was 7,9 million euros, against a bill of 6,3 million in 2015, for François Hollande. The new president and his predecessor flew respectively 800 and 774 hours, when comparing the two years mentioned, the nature of the devices used explains the significant difference in the final score: the new tenant of the Elysée Palace makes frequent trips outside Europe, “more numerous than [those] of his predecessor,” which adds considerably to the final bill.

    In 2018, Emmanuel Macron spent 213 hours aboard the Presidential Airbus, compared with 87 hours for François Hollande three years earlier. According to LREM MP Aude Bono-Vandorme, who obtained this information from the firm of Florence Parly, every hour of flight on this plane costs the state some 21 000 euros, according to estimates.

    Moreover, the current head of state and his services have flown for 555 hours, in 2018, in the business aircraft Falcon, the preferred means for travel in France and Europe. It is a few hours less than François Hollande, in 2015 (588 hours).

    But a flight in a Falcon costs only 4 000 to 5 000 euros per hour. Finally, the Capital.fr article states that Prime Minister Edouard Philippe spent 201 hours in 2018, compared to 305 hours for former Premier Manuel Valls, a decrease of 7 percent.

    For the rest of the new executive compared to the previous one, expenditures in this area are down by 36 percent. In total, the current government spent 12,2 million euros last year, when its predecessor cost the French 11,9 million euros, or 2,5 percent less.

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