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Far-right mayor bans drying laundry in public

Ben McPartland · 21 May 2014, 13:59

Published: 21 May 2014 13:59 GMT+02:00

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Robert Ménard the far-right mayor of the southern French town of Beziers is back in the headlines this week.

Ménard was only elected two months ago, with the support of Marine Le Pen’s National Front party, but no one can accuse him of putting his feet up once in office.

First he announced there would be no halal meals in municipal cafeterias, then he imposed a curfew on teenagers in certain troubled neighbourhoods and now he has turned his attention to residents' laundry.

“By the municipal by-law of May 19th 2014, a decision was taken to ban the hanging of clothes on balconies and facades of buildings visible from public roads,” the Town Hall said in a statement.

“The buildings play a role in the perception of the environmental quality of life and the facades have a significant impact on the attractiveness of the city from an economic and touristic point of view,” the statement added.

In the small text of the bylaw which applies to the protected historic centre of the town the mayor has allowed residents to empty their washing machines between 10pm and 6am each morning.

In a further restriction on residents, the bylaw also forbids them from banging rugs against walls and windows after 10am.

According to the Town Hall anyone caught flouting the new rules will be hit with a steep fine. The amount the fine could be worth was not disclosed.

Ménard made headlines in April for introducing curfew between 11pm and 6am for under 13s in certain areas of the town. He also introduced fines for dog owners who don’t clean up their pooch’s mess to €35 and tougher sanctions against illegal parking.

Ménard is not the only newly elected far-right mayor whose actions have raised a few eyebrows since they were elected in March.

Story continues below…

There have been pay rises, bans on new mosques and the taking down of European flags.

SEE ALSO: From pigs to UFOs - France's most crazy laws

Ben McPartland (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

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