Valérie Trierweiler, the unofficial first lady of France and partner of President Francois Hollande, has apparently abandoned Socialistic ideals and thrown herself headlong into a life of carefree luxury and excess.
So claims the current edition of the French weekly magazine VSD.
Already a highly unpopular figure in France, the 47-year-old Trierweiler has seemingly jumped effortlessly from one controversy to another.
In apparent defiance of Hollande’s program to raise taxes on the super-rich, cut costs of government (including minister’s salaries and perks), and enact massive public sector layoffs (in tandem impending job cuts at private companies), Trierweiler has entered into a whirlwind of nightlife at Paris’ most lavish clubs and restaurants, in the company of France’s wealthiest elite -- including Bernard Arnault, the CEO of LVMH, and Charlene Wittstock, wife of Prince Albert II, Sovereign of Monaco -- and “haute couture” shows, including Paris Fashion Week.
Quite a turnabout for a woman who has long boasted of her socialist credentials.
“Yet across the country, thousands of workers are struggling to save their jobs, millions of French people are struggling … every day,” VSD sneered.
“[But she] attended the fashion shows. Valérie 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.”
The journal further condemned her sudden lack of social conscience.
"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,” VSD wrote.
"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 Daily Telegraph noted that these attacks are similar to those directed at France’s prior first lady, ex-supermodel Carla Bruni, companion and later wife to President Nicolas Sarkozy.
VSD conceded, however, that the seductive powers of glamor and fame were too potent for Trierweiler to resist.
"Mixing with the elite has always had the power to anaesthetize the conscience and dilute one's convictions, and Valerie Trierweiler clearly hasn't been able to hold out against this for long," it opined.
VSD’s unflattering portrait of Trierweiler comes ahead of Hollande’s much anticipated state trip to India.
In a somewhat surprising move, the New Delhi government granted honorary spouse diplomatic status to Trierweiler -- meaning she will be able to attend all state functions with Hollande. This blessing was not accorded to the then-single Bruni, when she and Sarkozy planned to visit India a few years ago.
Trierweiler has repeatedly declared that she and Hollande have no plans to wed.
She has also found herself in other squabbles that the French media has feasted upon.
Not only have Trierweiler and Segolene Royal, Hollande’s former consort and mother of his children, engaged in periodic catfights; but Trierweiler’s boss at Paris Match weekly magazine (whom she ostensibly worked for), complained about her behavior.
In a biography published late last year of Arnaud Lagardère, the media tycoon and billionaire owner of Paris Match, he was quoted as saying that having Trierweiler as an employee was a burden.
"Are you kidding?" he reportedly declared. "Up until now, she's caused us nothing but trouble!"
Trierweiler had also attacked the publication for printing a photo of her on the cover without her permission.
Even Carla Bruni Sarkozy has gotten in on the act -- imploring Trierweiler to marry Hollande for the sake of legitimacy.
Palash has worked as a business journalist for 21 years in New York.