G20 Summit in Cannes

Cannes, FRANCE


No doubt you’ve heard all about this fuss over Greece, and Prime Minister Papandreou being summoned to the G20 Summit taking place in Cannes, which is just down the road from me.

I’d heard various horror stories about the security measures, including that motorway was closed yesterday. This is the main route for all heavy goods traffic between Italy and Spain so closing it is a big deal. I’d half thought about popping down to take a look and see if I could catch a glimpse of President Obama.  However, that’s not going to happen.

Under house arrest

Amongst the security measures are:

  • every person over the age of twelve must provide ID and apply for a badge from the police
  • same if you happen to be renting a hotel room or staying with friends
  • same if you live outside Cannes but work in the town (the employer has to provide a list of employees)
  • same if you live outside Cannes but you need to visit your doctor in town
  • if you live in Cannes and your doctor is from out of town, s/he will have to get a badge before attending to your medical emergency
  • if you’re found badgeless and can’t prove your identity you may be escorted out of town
  • if your child turns twelve during the Summit, you should have thought of this before!
  • by the way, all the cars of all these people have to be badged too…
  • you can’t drive at all in zone 1, and god forbid if you drive out of zone 2 – you can’t come back in again
  • the half-term school holidays have been exceptionally extended to Monday

I haven’t even read to the end of the list. An entire town of 160,000 inhabitants is effectively under house arrest.

I heard today that many businesses in the area have decided it’s simpler to just close for the three days. Put that together with the closure of the motorway and the Summit all by itself  is responsible for a significant downturn in the local economy.

Song of the day

You’ll have to imagine today’s song. Here’s what Cannes would look like if you were allowed to go there (note the badged people!)


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