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France

Outcry continues as Saudi royalty build elevator on public French beach

© Valery Hache, AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2015-07-23

A small French town once again interrupted construction of a private elevator to a public beach from a nearby villa owned by the Saudi royal family, the mayor said Wednesday.

Authorities in the small French Riviera town of Vallauris Golfe-Juan sounded the alarm last week when they realized that the Saudi royal family, who owns a luxury villa there, blocked off access to a picturesque local beach that they want to privatize for their upcoming vacation.

Read more at France 24: http://www.france24.com/en/20150716-saudi-royals-illegally-close-off-french-public-beach

The family had begun construction without submitting a planning application or getting a go-ahead from the regional authorities. Town officials said last week that they were going to remove the barricades constructed by the Saudis on Mirandole beach, which is only accessible by a tunnel that runs beneath a coastal railway line. However, the construction began again this week, according to Vallauris Mayor Michelle Salucki.

"I went to the beach [Wednesday] morning at 7:30am and I saw a crane that was depositing construction material to be used to build an elevator connecting the beach to the villa,” said Salucki.

She halted the work immediately as it was being done without a permit. State authorities eventually authorised the work around mid-day and the construction continued.

However, Salucki was so enraged by the site that she decided to send two letters of “protest” to President François Hollande and Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve.

"I understand that there are security concerns [for the royal family],” Salucki said. “But the law must be respected and things must be done in order. My letter is about the necessity that everyone be treated equally under the law.”

 

Date created : 2015-07-23

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