CGT leader’s loo is bog standard

Scandal over flat refurbishment for union boss deepens as expensive toilet is revealed as basic model

10 November 2014
By

THIS toilet is at the heart of the scandal surrounding the €130,000 refurbishment of the Paris flat rented for Thierry Lepaon, boss of France’s largest union, CGT.

The white porcelain Formilia toilet by Jacob Delafon normally retails from €560 but cost €1,397 as part of the works at the flat in Vincennes.

Other items in the €4,553 price of furnishing the toilet – before labour – included a wash-basin costing €1,595, and €689 for a toilet roll holder, toilet brush and a towel rail.

It was also revealed that the rental flat had just been redecorated by the owners, with brand-new carpet being replaced by parquet.

Mr Lepaon, who has come under pressure to resign over the scandal, said he had found out about the high cost of the refurbishments through the press.

And while the CGT said that the 120m2 property was a “good deal” at €2,000 a month – it was also found to only measure 79m2.

Journalist Hervé Liffran, of newspaper Le Canard Enchaîné who revealed that the costs had been signed off by union treasurer Eric Lafont, said: “The toilet is nothing extraordinary. These are ordinary products at prices that are not ordinary.

He added: “The bathroom cost €11,000 before the cost of labour.”

A two-man decorating company, AD Peinture, based near the flat, was said to have taken on additional plumbing, electrical and masonry work for the job.

Prime Minister Manuel Valls commented that especially during a time of economic crisis “it is necessary to set an example at all levels”.

subscribe newsletter image
Stay informed, have your say, join the community
Boost your inbox with our editor’s pick of news and information about France for residents and second homeowners
By joining the newsletter, you agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy
See more popular articles
The Connexion Help Guides
Updated! Brexit and Britons In France
Featured Help Guide
What Brexit means for British residents, second homeowners and visitors in France - now and after December 31, 2020.
Get news, views and information from France