Europes largest naturist camp plots to oust French mayor in furious row

GMB: Guest discusses ‘convenience’ of his naturist campsite

The picturesque village of Grayan-et-l’Hôpital, near Bordeaux, earns more than half a million euros a year from leasing land to Europe’s biggest naturist holiday camp.

Euronat uses 335 hectares of council-owned land to create a popular nudist utopia by the Atlantic Ocean.

However, the naturists are now in the middle of a political row in the French village, amid claims of an “electoral conspiracy” and plots. The row, which recently came to a head, has been a long-running saga in the village.

The local village mayor Florence Legrand claims her predecessors added clauses to the original 1975 lease that are unduly favourable to Euronat.

She said that past mayors gave the naturists too many perks, such as allowing the centre to pay a reduced rent.

The mayor claims the naturist camp has received government perks and should be paying the village nearly double the amount they currently do.

Ms Legrand says Euronat should be coughing up at least €917,310 euros (£786,625) a year.

This is on top of a €9 million (£7.7m) lump sum Ms Legrand wants the naturists to cover as an outstanding payment.

In a scathing criticism of the 9,000 nudists who populate the camp, Ms Legrand has complained that they “do nothing to promote the village,” which has a population of 1,543 and continues to shrink.

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She said that Grayan-et-l’Hôpital is “the only seaside resort in the world that has not benefited from the development of tourism”.

This month, a political storm erupted when the village council voted to end Euronat’s lease.

Jean-Michel Lorefice, the director of Euronat, has hit back at Ms Legrand’s claims and warned that they will retaliate.

With council elections in the village taking place in January, the naturist camp has set up a political campaign group while 300 holiday-goers have joined the local electoral roll.

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Legrand denounced the move as an “electoral conspiracy”, adding that she has received “threats and insults” since the council vote.

She said: “An incredible hatred has been tipped onto me.”

Euronat has burgeoned over the past five decades since its opening in 1975.

It boasts 25 retail outlets, as well as dance halls, bakeries, and restaurants, but according to the camp’s bylaws, visitors must adopt “total nudity” in all parts of Euronat.

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