You know things are going badly between neighbours when both Hitler and Donald Trump are invoked to settle an argument.

Yet the mayors of French ski resorts of Saint-Gervais and Megève are currently swapping insults at a rate that would shock even Jackie Weaver.

New lift dispute

The dispute arose over the construction of a new €76 million lift that starts in the commune of Megève but arrives in the commune of Saint-Gervais.

The two regions (along with the commune of Demi-Quartier, steering clear of the bust up from the sidelines) currently share revenues from the Evasion Mont Blanc lift pass, which also includes the resorts of Combloux, Cordon, Les Contamines-Montjoies, La Giettaz and Saint-Nicolas-de-Véroce.

“Attempt to annex Saint-Gervais”

The actual details of the dispute are arcane, but revolve around debates over the cost of depreciation of the lift and whether STBMA (the Saint-Gervais ski lift company) should have the right to run the lift rather than SRMM (Megève’s lift operator and a subsidiary of the Compagnie du Mont-Blanc).

Saint-Gervais mayor Jean-Marc Peillex has since reframed the argument as an attempt by Megève mayor Catherine Jullien-Brèches to ‘annex’ land owned by Saint-Gervais.

Advice from Trump

Peillex has also warned that if necessary, he would build a barrier between the two resorts taking advice from Donald Trump – ‘a specialist in building walls’.

Peillex later doubled down on his insults:

“We can no longer tolerate you selling ski passes in Megève…and pocketing the revenue, while your skiers enjoy free skiing in Saint-Gervais due to your lack of snow, insufficient staff and unattractive lifts”

Saint-Gervais mayor Jean-Marc Peillex (c) Dauphine Libere

“You’re not my mum!”

Megève have also alleged that Peillex created a parody Hitler ‘Downfall’ video, something that he denies, while also pointing out that several versions exist online.

Peillex noted that he is entitled to share any content that exists already and that Jullien-Brèches isn’t the first to be parodied.

As he puts it, “Vous n’etes ni ma maman ni mes directeurs de conscience” (Loosely translated as “You’re not my mum!”).

It’s said that you can change your friends, but not your neighbours. No doubt, Jullien-Brèches wishes that were not the case.