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European Journal

France: Ben Ali's Villas

With 260 days of sunshine a year, France's Côte d'Azur draws hordes of tourists. But it's also an attractive place for shady rulers to park their ill-got money. Many buy luxury homes here; former Tunisian president Ben Ali is thought to own villas on the Côte d'Azur.

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In Ben Ali's case, France's public prosecutor is now investigating. But many French citizens of Tunisian descent believe the investigation is taking too long, so they're collecting evidence on their own. Since the Arab Spring two years ago, the number of vacant luxury homes on the Cote D'Azur has kept on growing.