top cx logo
cx logo
Explorearrow down
search icon

High security for Hollande

Despite his “normality”, the president-elect’s life is set to change, as scores of police are assigned to guard him

SCORES of specialised police are being reassigned to the protection of François Hollande and others close to him.

The president-elect, who has said he wants to be seen as “normal”, is now having to adjust to the hyper-protected life of a head of state.

Up until now Hollande has benefited from 15 bodyguards during the elections – they are expected to form the nucleus of his Groupe de Sécurité de la Présidence de la République (GSPR), a team of presidential guards which usually changes at each changeover of power.

President Sarkozy’s GSPR consisted of 80 officers, who will shortly be reassigned to other jobs. The armed, plain-clothes officers consist of three teams who divide their time between protection, training and rest.

According to Le Figaro by the middle of next week a total 200 officers of the Service de Protection des Hautes Personalités, including the GSPR plus other police who protect Sarkozy's ministers, will be reassigned.

It remains to be seen if Hollande’s protection teams will be similar. Up until now he has preferred minimal security, with no bodyguard at the primaries and just four at the start of his campaign.

Unlike a US president, who must live at the White House and follow Secret Service security requirements, a French president is free to choose the level of his security.

For example Hollande could continue to live at his 15th arrondissement flat – his guards will have to adapt - though this is likely to be impractical for his neighbours.

He is also likely to have to give up some of his other “normal” lifestyle preferences, like his preference for taking the train – which would now cause security complications (not least for other passengers) and, unlike for example a presidential plane, is not suited to encrypted and protected communication.

Nicolas Sarkozy, meanwhile, is set to enjoy perks worth €1.5 million a year as an ex-president, it is estimated.

He will get a basic monthly payment of €6,000, which, in later life will continue on top of his pensions as an ex-mayor, MP and departmental council president of around €4,000 a month. He also has the option of a lifetime seat on the Constitutional Council, with payment of €12,000 per month. Hollande has said he will axe this, but this would not be retrospective.

Like his predecessors, he has a right to a free office/apartment in the location of his choice, with seven staff (like secretaries and researchers), two drivers and two police guards; his home will also be under police protection. He will have the right to free business-class travel on Air France and SNCF and if he goes abroad he can stay at French embassies.

Photo: Jean-Marc Ayrault

Resident or second-home owner in France?
Benefit from our daily digest of headlines and how-to's to help you make the most of life in France
By joining the newsletter, you agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy
See more popular articles
The Connexion Help Guides
featured helpguide
Healthcare in France*
Featured Help Guide
- Understand the French healthcare system, how you access it and how you are reimbursed - Useful if you are new to the French healthcare system or want a more in-depth understanding - Reader question and answer section Aimed at non-French nationals living here, the guide gives an overview of what you are (and are not) covered for. There is also information for second-home owners and regular visitors.
Get news, views and information from France
You have 2 free subscriber articles left
Subscribe now to read unlimited articles and exclusive content
Already a subscriber? Log in now