France's state spending sobers up

2013-05-30 20:52
(Picture: AP)

(Picture: AP)

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Paris - You know times are hard when the French presidential office starts selling some of its finest wines.

The Elysee Palace is auctioning off 1 200 bottles of wine and champagne from its cellar on Thursday and Friday in a move aimed at rejuvenating the collection and replenishing state coffers.

The wines range in price from €15 to €2 500 for a Petrus 1990, a rare Bordeaux wine, Drouot auction house said.

The proceeds of the sale, which represents about one-tenth of the Elysee's collection, "will be reinvested in more modest wines and the surplus will be poured back into the state budget”, Drouot said.

Vincent Auriol, France's president from 1947 to 1954, started the cellar.

Since then, it has swelled to include top vintages from Bordeaux, Bourgogne, Alsace and other wine-growing regions, some dating back more than half a century.

Interest in the rare bottles was expected to be brisk with buyers from Russia, the United States and Asia expected to join the bidding at the Paris sale.

The auction is to begin at 17:30 GMT on Thursday and was expected to be completed by 15:30 on Friday.

The sale is part of a more sober approach to state spending under President Francois Hollande during the current economic crisis. One of the Socialist's first acts as president last year was to give himself and his ministers a 30% pay cut.

Read more on:    francois hollande  |  france

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