The French government defends the “freedom” of topless sunbathing

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PARIS – In addition to the virus and the decline of the economy, the French government has a new problem to fear: defending the freedom of women to sunbathe topless. After police asked topless bathers to cover up on a Mediterranean beach last week, an uproar ensued – and broke into the French Interior Minister in Paris.

“It was unfounded when two women were criticized for their clothes on the beach,” Gerald Darmanin tweeted on Monday. “Freedom is a precious asset. ”

Bare-breasted bathing is legal in France, although local authorities may impose dress codes in specific areas. No such restriction was in place for Sainte-Marie la Mer beach.

Local police released a statement saying that officers were just trying to calm the mood after a family vacationing on the beach told police that topless bathers made them uncomfortable.

The spokesperson for the national gendarmerie service acknowledged a “blunder” by the police in question – but added, ironically, that “you will always see me in uniform”.

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