Hollande facing new specs scandal

President’s new spectacles cause a furore - because they’re not “Made In France”

9 July 2014

PRESIDENT Francois Hollande’s new spectacles have caused a furore - because they’re not “Made In France”.

Mr Hollande first modelled his new glasses at the Solidays Festival at Longchamp at the end of June, but his choice of frames - from a collection made by Danish firm Lindberg - prompted two French manufacturers to send him more “patriotic” pairs.

One company, Roussilhe, which has a factory in Oyonnax that manufactures 100,000 pairs of spectacles a year, sent the French President a pair of glasses similar to the Danish ones he had chosen
but guaranteed 100% “Made in France”, while Orléans-based Sabine Begault Vagnerin also made him a pair of “rectangular blue and red” sunglasses, Ouest France reports.

In a letter accompanying the spectacles, Ludovic Brochard and Maxime Rolandeau, bosses at Roussilhe, said that the President should be an “ambassador for French eyewear”, at a time when the industry in France is “subject to strong international competition, notably from Asia”.

“Your choice of frame may suggest that no French company was able to meet your requirements,” they said, enclosing a pair of glasses similar to the ones he had chosen.

They were keen to highlight the “virtues of French know-how” at a time when the “Made in France” mantra was being regularly touted by the government.

The two company bosses also invited Mr Hollande to attend the World Optical Fair, in Villepinte, Seine-Saint-Denis, in September.

Le Parisien has reported that the President personally thanked both companies.

Mr Hollande’s previous glasses were also from a Lindberg collection, as were those worn by Lionel Jospin, who was Prime Minister of France between 1997 and 2002, and Presidential candidate in 1995 and 2002.

Picture: BFMTV screengrab

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