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Saint-Tropez gets sinking feeling as luxury yacht owners ditch the 'billionaires' harbour**Q

• http://www.telegraph.co, David Chazan

Luxury yacht owners tend not to be short of funds, but increasingly they are shunning the Côte d'Azur's upscale resorts because of prohibitive costs.

Instead of Saint-Tropez or Antibes' renowned "billionaires' harbour", many are choosing less expensive destinations in Italy or Spain, where berthing fees, fuel prices and crewing costs are lower.

The high costs on the Riviera are blamed partly on France's strict enforcement of EU regulations on the sales price of marine diesel and a new requirement for high French taxes and social contributions to paid for crew members which was introduced in March.

As concern mounts for local businesses and jobs, the Riviera's three most prominent politicians, Renaud Muselier, the president of the Riviera region, Christian Estrosi, the mayor of Nice, and Hubert Falco, the mayor of Toulon, issued a plea for help from President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday.

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