Wednesday, August 24, 2005

French Property Rights

If you're pained that the Iraqis won't have Anglo-style legal rights, you might reassured that the mainland European semi-democracies don't either.

As a court finance officer in Doncaster, John Allott has probably heard most of the excuses known to man. When he offered one of his own to gendarmes and customs officers on the lookout for fake designer goods at a motorway toll booth on the French Riviera, it cut no ice.

"They told me I'd bought a false Hermes bag and I explained that I'd never even heard of Hermes," said Mr Allott, 56. "I just thought it would be a nice birthday present for my wife."
Coming from a Yorkshireman who has reached a certain age after living a hitherto blameless life, the protestation might seem to carry a ring of truth.

But the shoulder bag intended for Yvonne Allott's 55th birthday ended up on a growing pile of counterfeit articles seized and ripped apart by officers mounting a stop-and-search exercise at La Turbie, the first French motorway toll booth that greets traffic arriving from Italy.

Think about it. The French State takes & destroys property as an agent operating for the benefit of French businesses, without trial or redress.

Makes the Sunnis look good.

PS Please no jokes about SCOTUS...