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Blogs Coffee House

It’s a bit rich for France to castigate Britain for sheltering oligarchs

23 July 2014

5:52 PM

23 July 2014

5:52 PM

There’s a big to-do between France and Britain at the moment, with France accusing Britain of protecting oligarchs’ money in London.

President Francois Hollande’s Socialist Party said that before lecturing France on halting its £1 billion sale of aircraft carriers to Russia, ‘David Cameron should start by cleaning up his own back yard’ and stop cosying up to Russian billionaires resident in London.

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The French can talk. Our man in Cannes, Taki, often describes how France has let the Cote d’Azur become the ‘the resort that has replaced the Crimea’ – it’s been taken over by oligarchs:

‘Courchevel, the French Riviera, even St Moritz have been Dresdened by the Russians, their obnoxious spending and lack of basic manners amounting to a grotesque deformity.’

St Tropez was ‘once upon a time sleepy fishing village, now the focal point for Russian oligarch excess, outrageously ugly super-yachts, and what is commonly known as the scum of the earth, the nouveaux-riches of the 21st century.’

So take it from someone who, grudgingly, moves in similar circles to Russian oligarchs: for every ounce of English hypocrisy there have been 28.3 grams of French hypocrisé.

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