French communist chief: requisition Russian oligarchs’ Riviera villas for war refugees

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PARIS, Feb 28 (Reuters) – The presidential candidate for France’s communist party said that the sumptuous villas of Russia’s oligarch should be requisitioned to house Ukrainian refugees from the war.

France, especially its Mediterranean Cote d’Azur coast, is home to dozens of multi-million euro villas and yachts of the Russian elite. Many of them also own high-end apartments in the poshest Paris neighborhoods.

“Russian oligarchs close to Putin own numerous billionaires’ villas on the Cote d’Azur. I propose that the state requisitions them to welcome refugees from Ukraine,” French Communist Party PCF president and presidential election candidate Fabien Roussel said on his Twitter feed.

He also called on all French towns and villages to take in at least one or two Ukrainian families.

Roussel scores about 4% in first-round voting intention polls for the April presidential election.

The French treasury is carefully going through all financial assets, including properties, yachts and luxury cars owned by Russians mentioned on the sanctions lists linked to the Ukraine war, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Monday

The West has sought to punish Russia with a raft of measures, including closing airspace to Russian aircraft, shutting out some Russian banks from the SWIFT global financial network and limiting Moscow’s ability to deploy its $630 billion foreign reserves. 

“We have the legal powers to seize all of these assets,” Le Maire told journalists after a crisis meeting with President Emmanuel Macron and other government ministers

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