On Sunday April 23, the French blogging site “La Gauche m’a tuer” shared a story on its Facebook page claiming that President François Hollande had used a private jet to go to vote in the town of Tulle in the first round of France’s presidential election. However, the head of state did not travel on a private jet but on the presidential Falcon, according to the AFP’s correspondent at the presidential palace.
“Hollande travels to vote in Tulle in a private jet: the €30,000 cost of the operation is paid by the French tax-payer”, alleges La Gauche m’a tuer. However, it does not specify that the article to which it refers is from 7 December 2015, following the first round of regional elections held at the height of the international climate conference in Paris. The Facebook post published Sunday afternoon, in full first round of the presidential, was shared more than 14,000 times in 24 hours.
The AFP reporter, who was present in Tulle as the President voted, confirmed that François Hollande arrived and left Corrèze by plane. But he says he traveled aboard the presidential Falcon and not a private jet.
However, the use of this plane for these purposes had already provoked criticism at municipal meetings in March 2014. The cost of the return trip was, however, less than the figure put forward by La Gauche m’a tuer according to an estimate in Le Parisien. The newspaper suggested the trip would cost €9,200. In the May 2014 European elections, Hollande avoided controversy by travelling to Tulle by car.
The prefecture of Corrèze is more than five hours by train from Paris – and the journey is about as long by car.