€10,000 salary of Hollande’s hairdresser sends Twitter into sarcasm overload

France's President Francois Hollande. © Eduardo Munoz
Hollande “A rock Star,” Hollande-hipster, Queen Hollande – the French have been prolific in producing sarcastic comments and altered images of their president since learning that his hairdresser earns some €10,000 a month.

The generous sum Hollande’s hairdresser gets for his round-the-clock job was first revealed by the satirical Le Canard Enchaîné newspaper. It’s at least €9,895, not including “family benefits” and “residence allowances.”

The paper, in fact, displayed a copy of the hairdresser’s five-year contract, which began in 2012 as soon as Hollande was elected president and is scheduled to end in April of 2017 at the end of his presidency. By that time, the hairdresser, identified only as Olivier B, will have earned about €590,000, the report said.

“Mr B. commits to maintaining the utmost secrecy, during and after the completion of his contract, on the work he has done and the information he has had access to,” the contract states, according to Le Canard.

Government spokesman Stephane Le Foll confirmed Le Canard Enchaîné’s report, explaining that “this hairdresser had to abandon his salon and he’s on tap 24 hours a day.”

French social media exploded as soon as the news emerged, with dozens of Twitter users offering their own candidacies for the right to serve as Hollande’s precious hairdresser and proposing new haircuts for the leader of the French Republic. Hollande has been pictured in rock-and-roll, hipster, and punk haircuts.

“For half of what the hairdresser earns I would like to look after Hollande’s hair,” a comment read, while another said: “When taxpayer money has minimal results.”

Social media was quick to mention Hollande’s low ratings as president, saying that he “will have at least one guaranteed vote in 2017: his hairdresser.”

“If only his hairdresser gave him a nice cut” and “For such salary he [the hairdresser] should have be more original,” the jokes went.

The hairdresser’s lawyer, Sarah Levy, tried to justify the salary. She explained to French media that the hairdresser had a heavy workload and had made huge personal sacrifices for the sake of France and its leader.

“He is available to the president around the clock, 24 hours a day, and is never replaced by anyone else. He missed the birth of his own children, their broken arms, their operations…,” she said.

Elysée Palace also hurried to state that the hairdresser “starts very early in the morning, and has a long working a day… He does the president’s hair every morning and as often as is necessary at each public speaking event,” it added.

The Statista.fr website, which claims to get the data from the government agencies, has already compared the salary of the now well-known barber to the income of government ministers and the president himself.

According to the website, the barber gets less than the President, the Prime Minister, and other ministers, but more than the mayor of Paris.

The presidential barber’s salary is nearly four times higher than the average salary of an ordinary French citizen (€2,874), which itself is twice that of an ordinary French hairdresser (€1450), according to the website.