French president Nicolas Sarkozy's DJ son flew back to France in a luxury jet costing more than �35,000 (Rs 28 lakh) after falling ill before a gig at a Ukraine nightclub, it emerged. Critics of the French president said the extraordinary cost to the taxpayer is a further example of Sarkozy's 'royal' attitude to public money.
Anything for my son: French President Nicolas Sarkozy sent the
presidential Dassault Falcon jet to Ukraine to pick up his son
Pierre, who was suffering from food poisoning. File Pic/AFP
Pierre Sarkozy (26), complained about something he had eaten shortly before he was due to perform at a
nightclub in the southern port city of Odessa on January 24. He was taken to hospital by ambulance, where police later suggested he may have been suffering from 'food poisoning'.
Despite it only being a minor ailment, a presidential Dassault Falcon jet was flown straight from Paris to pick him up. The leading satirical weekly in France, Le Canard Enchaine, reported, 'To get his son, Nicolas Sarkozy mobilised an Air Force unit that carries the president and ministers. But how much did it cost? A small fortune.'
Sarkozy insisted that he had paid 7,632 (Rs 5 lakh) for his son's medical fees, but the cost of the private jet was still paid for by taxpayers. Le Canard Enchaine said the plane could only have been sanctioned if the flight was in the 'public interest', but suggested the president's son should have gone home on a regular flight.
Sarkozy and his third wife, ex-supermodel Carla Bruni, are frequently criticised for their high living ways and particularly for spending a fortune on air travel. Last year it emerged they spent more than �65,000
(Rs 50 lakh) equipping their new plane with state-of-the-art airborne ovens -- just so they could enjoy fresh bread as they flew in the Airbus A330.
Other world leaders � including Britain PM David Cameron and his wife -- have been known to use budget
airlines, but the Sarkozys insist on five-star travel and accommodation wherever they go. France's First Lady even made sure that the very best music centre, was fitted on the plane.
An Elysee Palace source said Pierre was repatriated 'as an emergency' on the advice of a presidential doctor.
Pierre, who performs under the name Mosey, is said to have made a full recovery and will be back performing in Paris this weekend.
Rs 5 lakh
Medical costs that French president Nicolas Sarkozy spent for his son
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