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French President Hollande’s barber ‘makes €10,000 a month’, sworn to secrecy

Dominique Faget, AFP | François Hollande pictured at the Élysée palace in Paris, on July 11, 2016

The barber who tends to French President François Hollande’s hair earns a monthly net income of €9,895, a French newspaper revealed Wednesday, adding that the hairdresser is also committed to secrecy and needs to be available 24/7.

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Identified only as Olivier B., the president’s hairdresser started on his five-year contract when Hollande took office in 2012. The contract also includes perks including financial aid with housing “and other family-related advantages”, weekly satirical newspaper Le Canard Enchainé said, citing his lawyer Sarah Levy.

But the job requires full commitment, the lawyer said in the article published on Wednesday, meaning the hairdresser needs to be “available for the president 24/7”, and is sworn to secrecy regarding any information he may learn while on the job.

“He missed the birth of his children,” the lawyer said, adding he had to sell off his own salon at a discounted price because of his busy schedule.

According to the newspaper, the Elysée palace has “fully” confirmed the information, saying the hairdresser looks after Hollande’s hair “every morning and as many times as is necessary, [and] ahead of every speech”. He also travels with the French leader on most trips that last longer than a day.

The news of the hairdresser’s salary and working conditions quickly caused a buzz in French media and on social networks, poking fun at the president’s hair under the hashtag #coiffeurgate (hairdressergate).

In March, Vanity Fair made a similar revelation, reporting that former president Nicolas Sarkozy’s makeup artist earned a net income of around €8,000 a month.

The AFP news agency said Sarkozy was the first French leader to hire a makeup artist, but that Hollande has since followed suit.

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