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Tuesday 23 September 2014

€1.2m assets blow to Hollande's 'Mr Normal' image

Henry Samuel in Paris

Published 12/05/2012 | 05:00

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Francois Hollande, the Socialist president-elect who once famously declared, "I don't like the rich", has assets worth around €1.2m including three Riviera properties, it emerged yesterday.

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The self-styled "Mr Normal" who has promised to "soak" the rich and "dominate" finance owns a mansion in the chic Riviera village of Mougins where the artist Pablo Picasso used to live, and has a stake in two flats in Cannes.

His assets were published yesterday in the 'Official Journal', the gazette which contains verified information about France's government.

With a total value of €1.17m they fell just short of making him eligible to pay wealth tax -- applicable if one's assets are worth more than €1.3m. But they were sufficiently high to be potentially embarrassing for a man who attacked his conservative rival Nicolas Sarkozy for being a "bling bling" president who defended "indecent wealth".

They could reinforce right- wing accusations that far from slumming it, he belongs to the 'Gauche Caviar', or 'Champagne Socialism', school of politics.

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"Francois Hollande may claim to be a 'normal' president, but his assets are clearly above normal," wrote 'l'Expansion' magazine.

With the average French person owning assets of €259,000, Mr Hollande lies in the top 10pc bracket of France's wealthiest individuals.

That said, his wealth is considerably less than that of Mr Sarkozy, who has declared assets worth €2.7m, placing him in the top 1pc bracket.

Most of Mr Sarkozy's wealth is in life insurance products but he also declared a collection of autographs, watches and statuettes worth €100,000 and a joint bank account of €57,000 which he shares with his wife Carla Bruni-Sarkozy.

Other assets Mr Hollande declared were bank accounts, a life insurance contract, and €15,000 worth of furniture.

According to the declaration, he owns no vehicle.

Among the first measures Mr Hollande says he will implement after he takes office on May 15 is a 30pc cut in the presidential salary of more than €19,000 a month. Mr Sarkozy raised his by 140pc. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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