Anger as Saudi king takes over entire beach
21 July, 2015, 12:00 am
BEACH lovers on the French Riviera have expressed their anger over the imminent arrival of the Saudi royal family, who have ordered a long stretch of beach to be closed off to the public.
“Looking after their security is fine, but they should at least let us go for a swim,” Mohamed, a disgruntled fishing enthusiast, said.
Nestled in the rocks between the coastal railway and the translucent waters of the Mediterranean, the grounds of the royal family’s immense villa stretches across a kilometre of Riviera coastline between Antibes and Marseille.
Local authorities confirmed King Salman was due to arrive at some point this week, and access to the entire kilometre stretch will be cut off, including the public beach at Vallauris, which could only be reached through a tunnel under the railway line.
“Access to the coast will be prohibited by police officers for the duration of the king’s holiday,” local official Philippe Castanet said.
Coastguards will also stop anyone coming within 300 metres of the villa by sea.
Beach users swung between disappointment and anger over the news.
“They take the decision and there’s nothing we can say,” Mohamed said, rinsing off his fishing rod on the beachfront.
“It’s a good fishing spot and blocking access is not acceptable.”