French activists fill holes with cement in protest at watering exemptions

Aug 14 (Reuters) – Climate activists linked to an extinct rebellion have targeted a golf course in southern France, filling holes with concrete to protest an exemption from water restrictions during the worst drought on record.

France has told residents to avoid unnecessary water use, such as washing cars and watering gardens. However, activists complain that golf courses are allowed to continue watering greens.

Protest action also took place at the Vielle-Toulouse Club and the Garonne des Sept Deniers course.

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Defending their exemption from water restrictions, GĂ©rard Rougier of the French Golf Federation told the France Info news website: “A golf course without a green is like an ice-rink without ice.”

Extinction Rebellion Toulouse posted a photo on Twitter of what appears to be a golf hole filled with cement and a sign reading “This hole is drinking 277,000 litres. Do you drink that much? #stopgolf”.

A petition aimed at overturning the exemption granted to French golf courses during the drought said: “Financial madness takes precedence over environmental reason.”

Water bans are enforced at the discretion of regional authorities, and so far only Ile-et-Villain in western France has banned golf course watering.

France was worst hit by hot and dry conditions across Europe as firefighters battled a “monster” blaze in a forest in south-west France. Read on

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Editing by Raisa Kasolovsky Reporting by Martin Herman

Our Standards: Principles of Thomson Reuters Trust.

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