Sarko's $400K Shower Steams French

French president's turn as EU chief cost double the usual amount
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 28, 2009 2:58 PM CDT
French President Nicolas Sarkozy.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – The French Senate is perhaps understandably miffed at the outrageous price tag of Nicolas Sarkozy’s 6-month stint as president of the European Union. The half-year job of hosting meetings and events appears to have cost $262 million, which is borne mostly by the host nation, an official tells the BBC. Perhaps the most conspicuous expenditure, the Guardian notes, is $410,000—for a shower that Sarkozy never used.

Sarkozy’s camp claims that the shower figure actually encompasses the renovation of a suite of eight rooms, but they do not dispute other figures. For a summit in Paris , “500 technicians were mobilized every day, including 300 at night,” according to a French Senate report. Some $491,000 was spent on constructing a podium, and $150,000 on a carpet. The rotating presidency usually costs around $100 million.