Tuesday, October 4, 2022
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Our Dear Presidents


VSIt was then that the maitre d’ asked the annoying question. He is preparing a big official dinner with Bernadette Chirac, in a dining room at the Élysée. The mistress of the place, who likes to take care of this kind of business, chooses a great, a very great wine. The butler is moved. He informs her, no doubt with all the formalities required, that the cost of the bottle is high. “Here, we don’t count”, answers Bernadette Chirac.

At that time, nothing was even counted at the Élysée. The president is king, the Élysée is his palace. It is not that the Republic is a good girl with President Chirac, it is quite simply that it has always been so. Each year, the State pays its representative a “civil list” – that is to say an annual budget that he can…


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