Antoinette syndrome taints Val�rie

Feb. 8: Val�rie Trierweiler has become the latest French First Lady to succumb to the Marie-Antoinette syndrome of frivolity and luxury as France toils, a leading magazine has claimed.

President Fran�ois Hollande's 47-year old partner was slammed for eschewing her Left-wing principles in favour of unabashed champagne Socialism despite the threat of "thousands of job losses in the coming weeks" in companies ranging from Renault to Air France.

VSD, the weekly magazine, trained its ire on the 47-year-old divorcee's decision to attend the haute couture shows of Paris fashion week. It described photos of the First Lady beaming alongside France's richest man Bernard Arnault at the Dior catwalk show as a "political fault".

"While thousands of French are fighting to avoid redundancy … (she) attended the fashion shows," it wrote.

"Val�rie Trierweiler, who often claims to be 'Socialist to her soul' … ultimately prefers supporting the one industry that has no particular need of her help ' the luxury fashion world.

"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.

"Instead of choosing to support welders or other workers, she has chosen to offer her presence, her support to Dior, to Yves Saint Laurent and the entire luxury industry."

The virulent broadside comes after former First Lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy was regularly branded a frivolous figure painfully unaware of the plight of the average French person while her husband Nicolas Sarkozy was President.

The multi-millionaire former supermodel was particularly mocked for declaring "we're simple ordinary folk" in a desperate bid to convince the French her husband was a "man of the people" during his failed re-election bid.

Now VSD said her successor had fallen into the same trap.

"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."

Trierweiler met Hollande, 57, at a political rally 15 years ago and have been a couple for five years. In what appeared to be a damage limitation counter-strike, a picture of Trierweiler walking arm in arm with Hollande was splashed on the front cover of yesterday's Paris Match, the magazine she still works for.

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