The French government’s latest efforts to cut costs include selling off thousands of vehicles from its official state-owned 65,000 fleet. This comes after the Eylsée Palace decided to deduce its finest wines as well as a luxury apartment in New York to save money.
This may be the reasoning behind Finance Minister Michel Sapin’s plan to save the taxpayer €150 million by making some drastic changes to the government’s official fleet. The plan is to have all unused cars sold off, all new cars made without luxury additions like leather upholstery, and a more serious effort to buy environmentally friendly vehicles. Finance Minister Sapin intends to see a ten percent reduction in the fleet by 2017.
The use of state-owned cars came under scrutiny after a tabloid revealed French actress Julie Gayet had been given access to one drive across the country. Gayet, who is romantically linked to France’s President François Hollande, should not be allowed to use the vehicles unless she is France’s official first lady, however French authorities suggested she may have been subjected to threats.
The French government has announced other unusual savings plans, with the presidential palace Elysée auctioning off all its wine and announcing plans to sell its luxury Manhattan apartment.
This latest cost-saving measure echoes a move last March by the Italian government which put up luxury state owned vehicles for sale in an effort to shore-up much needed cash. However by September Italian media reported that almost 100 of the luxury cars were still unsold.
Photo by Parti socialiste//Flickr