Oh la la: French officials tell rowdy youth in Oz to knock it off

(Robert Ranson/shutterstock.com)

(Robert Ranson/shutterstock.com)


, Last Updated: 3:37 PM ET

It seems it's not just Chinese tourists who are behaving badly. In an open letter to the 22,000 French young people living and working in Australia, France's consul-general lectured his compatriots on how some of their rowdy, drunken, and illegal shenanigans are harming France's reputation in the land Down Under, as well as their own integration into the country.

Young French backpackers in Australia have been issued a stern upbraiding by their consul-general Eric Berti after a 21-year-old Frenchman was caught climbing a sacred war memorial and following several reports of shoplifting by French nationals.

The latter has become so commonplace in some cities that locals now call it 'French shopping,' noted Berti in his statement.

"The Consulate General's attention has been drawn to the bad reputation of young French tourists in some areas of Australia, in relation to the incivilities of some French backpackers (noisy behaviour, alcoholism, disrespect for the police and authorities) and shoplifting,  frequently referred to as 'French shopping'," reads an excerpt, translated from French.

"Even if they remain isolated incidents, these behaviors can affect the entire French community in Australia. They can also hamper with young working holiday visa holders in their job search."

Berti then appeals to French youth to call out their fellow nationals on any kind of behavior that fails to align with the values of a country where "honesty and the respect of values and authorities are of primordial importance," he continued.

Earlier this year, a 21-year-old Frenchman described by Australian police as a "disrespectful knucklehead" was ordered to pay $1,400 in fines and repair work after damaging a cenotaph in Sydney's Martin Place.

It's the latest international incident to reach the highest levels of government and provoke a public lecture to citizens behaving badly, abroad.

Last week, the Chinese government drew up a list of dos and don'ts for its traveling citizens  -- a list of guidelines that includes no loud talking, spitting, jaywalking, or vandalization of important monuments.

The convention was created after a 15-year-old Chinese teen defaced a 3,500-year-old relic inside Egypt's Luxor temple by carving the words "Ding Minhao was here," in Mandarin.

Meanwhile, in a recently released Triposo survey that polled 700 people in 62 countries, Americans emerged as the worst-behaved tourists for displaying what was described as boorish, rude behavior, followed by Brits, Russians, the Chinese and Aussies.