Paris rejects Lafarge sand deal over support for Trump wall

Paris uses over 3,000 tonnes of sand to convert a long stretch of the north bank of the Seine into a makeshift beach every summer.

Published: 29th March 2017 12:40 AM  |   Last Updated: 29th March 2017 12:40 AM   |  A+A-


PARIS: The City of Paris on Tuesday dumped French-Swiss group LafargeHolcim as supplier of sand for the makeshift "Paris Plages" beach over the company's readiness to supply cement for US President Donald Trump's controversial border wall.

"We will do without their services," Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo's deputy Bruno Julliard told the city council, citing Lafarge's readiness to "work on the nefarious project" of a wall along the US-Mexico border.

The council later backed the decision in a vote.

Paris uses over 3,000 tonnes of sand to convert a long stretch of the north bank of the Seine into a makeshift beach every summer. 

Julliard said the decision to drop Lafarge was in keeping with "the ethical commitments that Parisians can expect from the city".

Ecologist lawmakers had pressured Hidalgo, a Socialist, to break off ties with the cement giant after the company appeared last month on an official list of companies interested in participating in the wall project.

The 2,000-mile (3,200-kilometre) anti-immigrant barrier which Trump promised during campaigning is expected to cost at least 15 billion dollars (14 billion euros).

CEO Eric Olsen confirmed to AFP that he was ready to supply materials "to all types of infrastructure projects in the United States."

"We are the leader in cement, so we supply all our customers," he said. "We are here to support the building and development of the United States," he told AFP in a March 9 interview.

LafargeHolcim was created in 2015 by the merger of French cement manufacturer Lafarge and its Swiss counterpart Holcim. 

The company hopes to be one of the big winners from Trump's planned infrastructure spending boost. 

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