France - United Kingdom

France fines Briton 30,000 euros for teaching ski without licence

French Alps.
French Alps. Reuters/files
2 min

A British ski instructor was fined 30,000 euros on Monday for teaching without a licence although he has been teaching in the French Alps for more than 30 years.

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Despite having the highest-rated British ski instructor's licence, Simon Butler refused to retake qualifications needed to teach in France.

He has already been fined on several occasions, but this time, prosecutors sentenced Butler to up to 200 days in jail if he doesn't pay the fine. 

Prosecutors denounced "a provocative move from Butler and his stubborn obstruction to comply with the law."

"I'm very disappointed with that result and we're going to appeal ", said Butler after the ruling, "I think my rights haven't been respected."

The trial sparked consternation in Britain, where London Mayor Boris Johnson called it "a complete, naked, shameless and unrepentant breach, by the French, of the principles of the European single market".

"We won't remake the Hundred Years' War" said prosecutor Pierre-Yves Michau pointing out that 350 British ski monitors already work legally in France.

Butler, who also runs two hotels in Megeve, has a certificate issued by the British Association of Snowsport - a certificate required in Britain to teach on slopes like those in Megeve - but refuses to complete two European tests called "Eurotest" and "Eurosecurity" to teach in France. 

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