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Scooter ‘should have been French’

The industry minister has expressed disapproval over President Hollande using an Italian brand for alleged trysts

PRESIDENT Holland’s now famous scooter on which he was snapped visiting actress Julie Gayet should have been “Made in France” says the Industry Minister.

Questioned on LCI news programme Le Grand Jury about whether he would have advised Mr Hollande to swap his Italian scooter for a Peugeot one, Arnaud Montebourg said it was a work scooter and it was true that the state should make more effort to avoid buying foreign brands.

“Firms are chosen by putting out invitations to tender and there was already a controversial incident when La Poste bought Taiwanese scooters instead of ones made in France. I’ve always tried to remind public sector bodies to be patriotic,” he said.

“It’s not [Mr Hollande] who bought the scooter if I understand correctly, it was a work scooter; and it’s something that needs looking at. It’s a fair comment. Every day we’re keeping an eye on this kind of thing.”

Mr Montebourg has become known for championing French-made goods and was notably photographed for a magazine cover in a striped Breton jersey and holding a Moulinex.

Valérie Trierweiler has now left hospital, after a week’s rest and recuperation after the scandal of Mr Hollande’s alleged affair broke.

Escorted by Elysée security guards and a motorbike cortege, she went directly to La Lanterne in Versailles, where she is expected to rest for a few days.

A former hunting lodge, La Lanterne was originally a holiday residence for the prime minister but Nicolas Sarkozy liked it so much that it was taken over for the president and has been preferred to the official holiday home in the Var in recent years.

Ms Trierweiler sent a tweet from the residence, in which she said: “Thank you from the bottom of my heart to all those who sent me messages of support and good wishes for my health by Twitter, text or emails. I’m very touched.”

The fact it was sent via her personal account and not her First Lady one has been deemed possibly significant.

Whether or not she will accompany Mr Hollande as First Lady on a planned visit to the US next month is being seen as a test of the current status of their relationship.

Mr Hollande said last week he would clarify more about the affair allegations before then.

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