• France's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Protest continues at Nantes airport site

Malcolm Curtis · 26 Nov 2012, 11:45

Published: 26 Nov 2012 11:45 GMT+01:00

Demonstrators opposed to the airport have erected barricades, occupied cabins and encircled a boggy protected area with 30  tractors in a bid to keep law enforcement officials at bay, according to a report from the France-Ouest newspaper.

One of the barricades was on fire on Monday morning, the newspaper said.

Law enforcement officials were standing back and not intervening.

Police clashed with opponents of the airport on Friday and Saturday after they squatted on the rural land, 30 kilometres northwest of Nantes.

Riot police fired tear gas and squatters threw stones and glass bottles as several thousand people demonstrated in Notre-Dame-des-Landes, AFP reported.

At least seven people were injured in clashes on Saturday.

There have also been demonstrations in the city of Nantes.
 
The Hollande government wants to clear the 4,000 acres of swampland for a new airport in a project that is straining ties between the ruling Socialists and their Green party allies.

The organizing group of opponents, ACIP, was planning to hold a press conference to outline its aims on Monday.
 
Cabinet ministers in charge of agriculture, ecology and transport have issued a joint statement in support of the need for the new airport .

Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault’s office has promised to set up a dialogue committee to hear feedback from all sides of the issue.

Ayrault, former long-time mayor of Nantes, supports the new airport, which was initially approved by the previous UMP government after being discussed for more than 30 years.

One of the touted advantages of the two-runway airport, budgeted at more than €600 million, is that it will reduce low-level flying over the city of Nantes, thus reducing noise pollution.

Story continues below…

The current airport cannot be expanded because it is too close to the city.

Malcolm Curtis (news.france@thelocal.com)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Paris luxury hotel told to pay up after guest molests cleaner

A cleaner who was molested at a Paris luxury hotel by a Qatari guest has reportedly been awarded €57,000.

Frenchman leading Brexit negotiations starts new job
Photo: AFP

Frenchman Michel Barnier officially starts work as the European Commission's Brexit negotiator on Saturday in an appointment that British media called a "declaration of war".

VIDEO: Frenchman goes on iPhone-smashing rampage
Photo: YouTube Screenshot

Meet France's angriest Apple customer.

Nuit Blanche: Get set for an all-night party in Paris
Photo: La Nuit Blanche

Will YOU be heading down to the Seine on Saturday?

France told there's no more money for TGVs
High speed TGV trains parked in Lille. Photo: AFP

A report from the French senate has recommended that three planned high speed rail networks be scrapped.

Frenchman surfs again after shark bites off his leg
All photos: AFP

Meet the amputee Frenchman who is surfing again he was attacked by a shark.

Paris motorists to fund city's public transport system
Photo: AFP

Motorists in the Ile-de-France region will be hit by a tax rise in order to finance the city's trains and buses.

More French women becoming mothers after 40
French mums are getting older. File photo: Pexels

French mums are getting older, but the overall birthrate has fallen.

Paris police bust high-rolling gang of pram thieves
Photo: Joe Shlabotnik/Flickr

A gang of thieves has been caught after they pinched an estimated €100,000 worth of prams.

French banned from 'Mona Lisa smile' on photo IDs
You can forget a smile like this on your passport photo.

The French are going to have to remain grumpy-looking, at least on their passport photos.

Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
National
It's official: France finally gets its new map
National
VIDEOS: France's raunchiest TV commercials of all time
Sexism at the wheel: France wants more women drivers
Society
Lifestyle
VIDEO: Is life on a French café terrace really this bad?
Society
Only in France: 'Drive slowly - grape juice on the roads'
Society
Saudi princess 'told guard to kill Paris decorator'
Education
Why are foreign students in France 'Europe's unhappiest'?
Education
The troubles with French universities laid bare
Culture
The crazy French writing phrases you can't get your head around
Features
Room for improvement: Paris's matchbox apartments
'Stop telling immigrants to be French and help it happen'
Society
Take the test: How far have you assimilated into French culture?
Lifestyle
Eleven things you should know before moving to Paris
National
France's Marion Cotillard rebuffs rumours of fling with Brad Pitt
National
Eight arrested over links to Nice truck attacker
Features
Why everyone should party in a French chateau at least once
Travel
The Frenchman who hated 'Nazi-Zealand' after four-day hitch-hike fail
Culture
What's on: Ten exciting events across France in September
The 45-million year old underground shells that flavour Champagne
Features
French job speak: All the terms you need to know
'Resilient' Paris now a more appealing city than New York
National
France says it's OK to warn drivers about speed cameras
Meet Honorine, 113, the oldest person in France
2,728
jobs available