• France's news in English

France to flog official cars to save the pennies

Oliver Gee · 23 Feb 2015, 15:54

Published: 23 Feb 2015 15:54 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit
Every little bit helps, when it comes to cutting debt in France.
This may be the reasoning behind Finance Minister Michel Sapin's plan to save the taxpayer a cool €150 million by making some drastic changes to the government's 65,000-strong car fleet.
The move would see 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.
Sapin told French newspaper Le Parisien that he intended to see a ten percent reduction in the fleet by 2017.
"The state has to make savings, and the smartest way to do it is to streamline expenses," he said.
The use of state-owned cars came under the spotlight last week, after a tabloid magazine revealed that French actress Julie Gayet had been given access to one to zip across the country.
Theoretically 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", but Sapin 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 flog its luxury Manhattan duplex apartment.
Story continues below…
This latest cost-saving measure echoes a move last March by the Italian government which put up 151 luxury state-owned cars for auction on eBay in an effort to shore-up much needed cash. However by September Italian media reported that almost 100 of the luxury cars, including a fleet of Maseratis, were still unsold.

French actress Julie Gayet. Photo: AFP
Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Where exactly in France are Calais migrants being sent?
Photo: AFP

Here's where the 8,000 migrants in Calais are heading.

The annoying questions only a half French, half British person can answer
Photo: Beery/Flickr/AFP

Being half French, half British is means you get asked a lot of questions (and some of them can be a little annoying.)

Migrants bussed out of Calais Jungle to all corners of France
All photos: AFP

Hundreds of migrants are being bussed across France on Monday ahead of the demolition of the Jungle camp.

The must-see French films of the millennium - Part One
A Prophet. Photo: YouTube Screengrab

Looking for something to watch?

The must-see French films of the millennium - Part Two
Rust and Bone. Photo: YouTube Screengrab

The newest French films you need to see before you die (or alternatively when you get some spare time).

Election Watch
Presidential hopeful reckons a pain au chocolat is 10 cents

So France happily takes the pastry out of him.

French ministry of defence officials die in plane crash
Screengrab: eddydeg/Twitter

The French Ministry of Defence officials were killed on Monday when a light aircraft went down on the island of Malta.

Revealed: The ten most stolen cars in France
A Smart car in Paris. Photo: JR_Paris/Flickr

Thieves in France are getting a taste for luxury cars, it seems.

Analysis - France migrant crisis
Migrant crisis won't end with Calais 'Jungle' closure
All Photos: AFP

The Jungle camp may be being cleared but this won't be the end of the migrant crisis in France.

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie 'to sell their French chateau'
All photos: AFP

Want to live where Brangelina got married?

The annoying questions only a half French, half Brit can answer
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Forget Brangelina's chateau - here are nine others you've got to see
The must-see French films of the millennium - Part One
How life for expats in France has changed over the years
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
jobs available