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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.

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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