Nice officials in the dark but marathon to go ahead

Christian Estrosi, President of the Regional Council of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur. Photo: Facebook
Christian Estrosi, President of the Regional Council of Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur. Photo: Facebook

A major row has broken out after top local officials issued a joint communiqué lamenting the fact that they learned from the press about planned terror attacks foiled by the police rather than from original sources.

Christian Estrosi, president of the Nice metropolitan area, and Philippe Pradal, mayor of Nice, praised law enforcement services but deplored the lack of communication. Referring to the recent arrest of two young women, aged 17 and 19, who are alleged to have been in the last stages of preparing an attack, they asked: “How is it possible that these arrests took place without us being informed?” before adding that the lack of direct information was ‘illegal.’

According to article L.2211-3 of the local government code, local officials should be informed of major crimes committed on their territories. New arrangements must be made, the two officials said, because at present “no information is shared.”

Meanwhile hoteliers on the Côte d’Azur are up in arms over the cancellation of many major events in the wake of the Bastille Day atrocity in Nice earlier this year. The Nice triathlon that should have taken place this coming weekend in Nice has been cancelled (it also suffered the same fate last year due to the heavy flooding the day before), as has a European cycling championship, in both cases because of security concerns.

While Nice-Cannes marathon, due to take place on November 13, seemed to be the next event to fall victim to the axe, after it suspended inscriptions last week, an official press release Thursday confirmed the popular event, that draws thousands of visitors to the Riviera, will go ahead? although the start will be moved from Jardin Albert 1er to Allianz Riviera Stadium.

Tourist numbers in the region are down considerably on last year following the July 14 terror attack that took the lives of 86 people, many of them visitors, on the Promenade des Anglais. A national tribute to the victims has been set for October 14.