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French president criticised for using luxury jet as air ambulance

Filed under: Air Ambulance Use Stories — Posted by: Richard on February 10, 2012

Nicolas Sarkozy came in for more criticism last week, when it was revealed that he organised a luxury governmental jet to fly his son back to France.

The plane, normally used to fly the president and ministers, was essentially used as a private air ambulance, when Pierre Sarkozy became ill in Ukraine.

The 26 year old had complained of feeling ill shortly before he was due to DJ at a nightclub in the country. Whilst being assessed at a local hospital, it was suspected that he had a case of food poisoning.

Despite it not being a serious illness, the French president sent the Air France jet to collect him. At a cost of more than £35,000 to the taxpayer, the move has angered many people; from fellow politicians and critics alike.

Air ambulances throughout Europe operate a vital service to repatriate people having been injured or fallen ill whilst abroad. However, they have seldom been used in such minor cases and Pierre’s instance would certainly not have required a full medical escort as can often be arranged.

The news and the reaction in the country comes at a very bad time for Sarkozy. His showing in the polls is at all time low already, whilst the Presidential elections take place later this year.

Nicolas Sarkozy tried to play down the affair by claiming his decision was in the public interest and insisting that all associated medical costs had been paid for out of his own money. However, with many stories in the press already about his and his family’s spendthrift approach throughout his premiership, the protestations are likely to fall on deaf ears.

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