Since the end of Nicolas Sarkozy’s presidency last year, he’s been in hot water over a variety of accusations regarding use of government funds, corruption, and all the usual attacks that come from opposing parties. In France, Presidents can not be tried during their presidency – this same rule once led a former consul named Julius Caesar to wage civil war on Rome in order to avoid being taken to court for his extraordinary debts. In the past week, the Cour des Comptes (literally, the “Court of Audit“), a ‘quasi-court’ charged with conducting financial and legislative audits of certain public & private institutions, has been combing through Sarkozy’s books in light of evidence of foul play having emerged in recent months.
The courts discovered that First Lady Carla Bruni commissioned the creation & maintenance of a website for an association, the cost of which exceeded 400,000€ over two years. While the exact nature of the site and what exactly was funded are still being examined – the site “carlabrunisarkozy.org” has pointed to a variety of different sites in the past year, including to a web page about the first lady, as well as to the foundation Carla Bruni-Sarkozy.
As the walls come crumbling down around the Sarkozy’s, I’m sure we will discover more misuse of funds, both digital and non-digital; however, the fact that such a site was ever commissioned confirms a severe misunderstanding of what a website is and the costs associated with its creation and maintenance.