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- Forty-three of France's 157 ambassadors receive salaries of of $353,000 a year. The French magazine Challenges says some French ambassadors make up to $548,785 a year if serving in "dangerous" postings, such as Kabul.

-Challenges also reports 656 civil servants earn more money than the French president and the prime minister, who are each paid $233,785 annually. More than half of the civil servants work abroad for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

- Directors of elite public high schools in Paris live in rent-free apartments, some as big as 1,280 square feet.

- Government ministers ride the train system in first-class seating for free.

- Members of the elected National Assembly ride taxis for free.

- The national education system gives free housing to more than 40,000 employees, including many teachers.

- The head of Lycée Henri-IV, a public high school in Paris that prepares well-connected students for France's most elite public universities, has a free apartment with a private garden that would typically rent for $19,600 a month. The head of Lycée Louis-le-Grand, another public school in Paris for the elite, has a similar deal.

- About 150,000 French civil servants receive cars for both work and personal use.

- Prefects, similar to police commissioners, get free housing with servants. Figaro newspaper reports that the prefect of Gers lives in a 18th-century palace; the prefect of Paris lives at the Hôtel du duc de Noirmoutier with 16 servants, while the prefect of Marseilles has a residence and a villa with a swimming pool.

Research by Yves Stefanovitch



Copyright 2014 USATODAY.com

Read the original story: A look at the many perks of public life in France

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