Rabat - Amid a wave of outrage among locals, Saudi Arabia’s King is due to arrive over the weekend for a private visit to Cote d’Azur in France accompanied with at least a thousand people.
Rabat – Amid a wave of outrage among locals, Saudi Arabia’s King is due to arrive over the weekend for a private visit to Cote d’Azur in France accompanied with at least a thousand people.
While this is good news for local trade in Cote d’Azure, it is an inconvenience for local bathers as the French authorities have decided to close the Riviera in Cote d’Azure to assure the Royal family’s safety.
The Saudi King’s flight is believed to land on Saturday morning, at the International Airport Nice Côte d’Azur. A source told the French news agency AFP that King Salmane will then head to the Saudi King’s villa located on the coastline of the Riviera.
To host the Saudi King’s entourage, at least 400 rooms have been booked in La Croisette Palace, by the embassy of Saudi Arabia in Cannes, France.
The King’s relatives will be staying at a big villa in Golf-juan, which stretches over one kilometer of coastline.
Despite the economic benefits for locals, the visit has outraged bathers in Cote d’Azure, as local authorities announced that the Riviera public beach will be closed for the family’s entire visit so as to guarantee their security.
The decision has caused widespread outrage among locals in Vallauris who use the beach for bathing and fishing.
Some of them threaten to take action against the decision since the beach is declared open to the public under French law.
Speaking to the Telegraph, Blandine Ackermann, president of a local environment group, vowed her intention to take legal action if the beach was not re-opened to the public. “This concrete slab is taking up half the beach. It’s an outrage,” she said.
Councillor Jean-Noel Falcou who has launched a petition to stop the beach closure said “The point we wish to make is that not everything can be bought.”
“The Saudis have been coming here for 40 years and they are welcome; all we ask is that they respect French law in the process,” he concluded.
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