• France's news in English

'Unlicensed' British ski instructors summoned

The Local · 22 Feb 2014, 08:59

Published: 22 Feb 2014 08:59 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Simon Butler, who operates a tour company in Megeve near Mont Blanc, was arrested on Tuesday along with two of his instructors, prosecutor Pierre-Yves Michau said. They were released on Wednesday but are due to appear in court on April 7 to face charges of operating as unlicensed instructors.

Butler is also facing charges of failing to declare foreign employees in France.

Butler, who has operated in the region for about 30 years, was fined 10,000 euros ($13,725) on a similar charge in 2004. He was sentenced to pay another 10,000 euro fine and serve six months in jail in 2013, but that case is under appeal.

So-called "ski hosts" -- British guides who show guests around slopes and local facilities -- are a popular service among the thousands of Britons who ski in France every year. But several such operations have been fined, with French authorities insisting they must obtain local licenses.

Michau said Butler "is completely resistant to French law.

"He says he will continue, that he will not conform with what we are asking," he said.

Butler's lawyer, Philippe Planes, said his client had the right to operate under his British license in France under European and international laws.

"Mr. Butler is not a criminal but is being treated as one," Planes said, adding that Butler had filed a complaint with the European Commission accusing France of discrimination and restricting his freedom of movement.

Another British tour operator, Yorkshire-based Le Ski, was last year fined more than 26,000 euros for employing unlicensed British ski resort guides and paying them below the minimum wage.

Story continues below…

Piste wars: 'It's one rule for the French and one for foreigners'


Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Homeless man dines at top tables in France, then runs off
Photo: Prayitno/Flickr

"A man's gotta eat," he told police, after racking up gigantic bills in some of France's plushest restaurants.

Underwater museum hopes to make a splash in Marseille
A similar underwater museum piece by Jason deCaires Taylor. Photo: julie rohloff/Flickr

Don't forget your scuba gear...

Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Photo: Jacme/Flickr

Move over Paris...

And France's top chef of the year is... 'Monsieur Idiot'
Alexandre Couillon might have an unfortunate name, but he can sure cook!. Photo: AFP

Look beyond the name. He's the man who turned his family's humble "moules frites" joint into one of France's best seafood restaurants.

Could France do more to ease the worries of 'Brexpats'?
Photo: AFP

Paris is rolling out the red tape for British firms, so why not British citizens in France?

Brexit: Brits in France could face 'cataclysmic' impact
Photo: AFP

Can't France make it easier for Britons to get French nationality?

In their own words: Why French police are in revolt
"Solidarity with our colleagues". Police protesting near Paris. Photo: AFP

Police have staged protests for three nights in a row across France. Here's why they say they're fed up.

France leaning right six months before election
Candidates for the right-wing Les Republicains Alain Juppe and Nicolas Sarkozy. Photo: AFP

... and the left has been left in suspended animation.

Disgruntled French police stage protests for third night
Photo: AFP

The French government is struggling to deal with a revolt among the country's police force.

Scarlett Johansson to run Paris gourmet popcorn shop
Photo: AFP

She'll even be serving customers apparently.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
The ups and downs of being both French and English
How Brexit vote has changed life for expats in France
Twelve French insults we'd love to have in English
What's on in France: Ten of the best events in October
Want to drive a scooter around Paris? Here's what you need to know
jobs available