Nudist colony ‘left my town broke’ complains French mayor
Florence Legrand, mayor of Grayan-et-l’Hôpital near Bordeaux, has filed a legal complaint for “bribery” against her predecessors over the perks given to Euronat – the continent’s largest nudist group.
The huge nudist camp is located just outside Ms Legrand’s town – and appears to be prospering while the town flounders.
Grayan-et-l’Hôpital has seen its population, currently at 1,500, dwindle, while shops and restaurants close one after the other.
Meanwhile Euronat – founded in 1975 – is thriving, and now comprises a sprawling 830 acres with 28 stores and houses 15,000 guests in the summer.
Locals have reportedly been reduced to having to do their shopping in the camp.
A woman told Le Parisien: “You have to want to see people stark naked.
She added that at least “we’re allowed to keep our clothes on.”
Now the camp is at the centre of bribery accusations, as Ms Legrand accuses her predecessors of giving it a number of deals on rent.
She said past mayors gave the colony breaks, with the town taking just €550,000 in rent, almost half the town hall’s estimate that it should be €917,000.
Ms Legrand added bogus “charges” were added to inflate the figure.
The mayor said in total, the town should have received €20.5 million since 1975, instead of the €14.5 million it was actually paid – which she said led to lacking funds “for the development of the town.”
She also questioned why the former mayor extended the lease of the land from 70 years to 99 years.
Euronat is denying any wrongdoing, with its company director Jean-Michel Lorefice filing for slander alongside a former mayor.
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He said: “We have had 50 years of peaceful and normal relations with the preceding municipalities.”
Lawyers for the town want prosecutors to find out “how and why a private company was able to benefit from such largesse and seize the sovereignty of a municipality at a low price to the detriment of its citizens”.
An inquiry has been launched by Bordeaux’s prosecutor. It is examining whether officials allowed “an exemption or deduction of duties, contributions, taxes or public taxes in violation of legal or regulatory texts”.
The charge carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a €500,000 fine.
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