Valerie Trierweiler accused of abandoning socialist roots
France's first lady 'like a modern-day Marie Antoinette' as she attends haute couture shows in Paris
FRANCE'S first lady, Valerie Trierweiler, claims to be "socialist to her soul". But the 47-year-old has been accused of turning into a modern-day Marie Antoinette after being pictured next to France's richest man, Bernard Arnault, during Paris fashion week – as thousands of workers face redundancy.
In a scathing article titled 'The luxury and the insouciance', weekly magazine VSD criticised Francois Hollande's partner for offering "her support to Dior, to Yves Saint Laurent and the entire luxury industry" instead of "welders or other workers", according to a Daily Telegraph translation.
The pictures of Trierweiler and the Louis Vuitton boss, described by VSD as a PR "disaster", come as workers in companies such as Renault and Air France face job losses. "It sends out a very mixed message to the millions of voters who elected her partner to office hoping for a change in morals and mentality," said the magazine. "While thousands of French are fighting to avoid redundancy … [she] attended the fashion shows."
Trierweiler – nicknamed the Rottweiler – is accused of abandoning her political beliefs. "Mixing with the elite has always had the power to anaesthetise the conscience and dilute one's convictions, and Valerie Trierweiler clearly hasn't been able to hold out against this for long," added the magazine.
It's not the first gaffe for journalist Trierweiler. Francois Hollande's partner of five years supported rival candidate Olivier Falorni over Segolene Royal, the mother of Hollande's four children in June's French elections. When Falorni defeated Royal with 63 per cent of the vote, the president was forced to turn down his ex-partner for the role of National Assembly speaker because of her loss of the La Rochelle seat in western France.
The Telegraph notes Trierweiler and Hollande were this week pictured hand-in-hand looking like an "ordinary Parisian couple" on the front cover of the first lady's magazine Paris Match, in what appeared to be a pre-emptive strike ahead of the VSD story.