Nicolas Sarkozy has imposed a ban on low flying over a French Riviera villa where he will spend the Easter holidays with his wife, Carla Bruni.
Pilots who break the decree, which states that planes can not fly below 915 metres above the villa at Cap-Nègre, could face fines of up to €40,000 or six months in prison.
In a bid to protect their privacy, the low-fly ban lasts from April 8 to 26. However advisor said the president’s holiday is likely to be considerably shorter.
“While the president’s private engagements are never made public, I think we can be rest assured he will take no more than a long weekend or two around Easter given France’s current involvements abroad,” an Elysée adviser said.
The decree came a year after the couple angered locals by declaring beaches and a costal path near St Tropez.
Sarkozy’s also imposed a no-fly zone at Cap-Nègre in 2008, shortly after marrying Carla Bruni. But paparazzi still managed to snap photos of the first couple in swimsuits jumping off rocks into the sea.
The president is likely to spend much of this summer in the villa that belongs to his wife and her family, as he recently ordered the entire government – himself included – to refrain from taking foreign holidays.