Miami - The man of the week, Saudi Arabia’s King Salmane is headlining the French press again! Another scandal has the King’s name in everyone’s mouth – the alleged nonpayment of a 3.7 million euro debt to Paris Hospitals (Hôpitaux de Paris).
Miami – The man of the week, Saudi Arabia’s King Salmane is headlining the French press again! Another scandal has the King’s name in everyone’s mouth – the alleged nonpayment of a 3.7 million euro debt to Paris Hospitals (Hôpitaux de Paris).
The King may have cut his trip short in France, but he has definitely left many marks. On Thursday, the French tabloid press read: “The heavy slate left by the King of Saudi Arabia to France”.
This time around it was a Twitter message that surfaced the scandal. An accusatory ‘tweet’ posted by emergency physician, Patrick Pelloux saying, “Before leaving, the King of Saudi Arabia could pay his bills of EUR 3.7 million to Hôpitaux de Paris. A gesture of courtesy!”
The polemic ‘tweet’ reached representatives at Hôpitaux de Paris who have confirmed the allegations. According to the weekly Marianne, the debt is not only King Salmane’s responsibility. The EUR 3.7 million include many Saudis treated in Paris.
The debt details: 3 million euros attributed to diplomats at the Parisian Embassy, 15,591 euros to insurance agencies, and 631,384 euros in special miscellaneous.
These type of debts are a recurring problem since foreign officials are not required by law to pay these hospital bills at time of service. Physician Pelloux explained, “Upon leaving the hospital, they leave these [slates] and as they return to their countries of origin, we cannot recover these bills. And we are not talking about poor countries with large debts, these are wealthy countries that have oil and gas”.
Other countries have been reported to not pay their French hospital bills. Among the worst in-debt are Algeria (EUR 3.6 million), the United States (EUR 5.7 million) and Morocco (EUR 11 million).
However, France is not extremely concerned about the Saudi’s hospital debt. There are bigger and more important agreements to satisfy between both countries such as the EUR 12 billion contract for the sale of 23 Airbus helicopters to Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of the Interior.