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BRITTANY

VIDEO: Drunks face jail after BBQ goes wrong

If a TV show is ever made called ‘When BBQs go wrong,’ then an incident at a stunt show in Brittany, France this week would make the first episode. What was meant to have been a quick grill ended up with dozens of vehicles burnt and spectators running for their lives.

VIDEO: Drunks face jail after BBQ goes wrong
Why you should never have a BBQ when you are drunk. Photo: YouTube Screengrab/ WebhostFrance

When a blaze ripped through a field being used as a car park at a stunt show in Brittany at the weekend, panic spread among the 1,500 spectators.

Witnesses reported how people began running for their lives, fearing the whole place would go up in smoke and they would be trapped.

Others who had come from far and wide to watch the show at Noyal-Pontivy, were more concerned about their vehicles and there were reports of drivers fighting with police as they tried to get back to their cars.

“We only had one thing in mind,” said police captian Pascal Lhoutellier, “and that was to protect people’s lives.”

Around 40 firefighters were sent to the scene to tackle the blaze, which resulted in 64 vehicles being destroyed.

(Sreengrab from an amateur video captures the devastation)

An investigation was immediately launched to determine the origin of the fire, which appears to have been resolved on Wednesday.

It has emerged that the blaze, which caused thousands of euros of damage, and posed a potentially grave risk to lives, was actually caused by two men, slightly intoxicated, who decided to have a BBQ before the show.

According to French media the two men admitted their error to French police on Tuesday.

The pair, aged 32 and 37, reportedly told police they thought they had put out the BBQ before heading off to watch the show.

But as the video below shows, they should have taken a bit more care. The two men now face up to two years in prison as well having to pay damages to all those angry drivers.

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BRITTANY

French town of Nantes votes for referendum on exiting Pays-de-la-Loire region

The French city of Nantes is to hold a referendum on exiting the Pays-de-la-Loire region and becoming part of Brittany instead.

French town of Nantes votes for referendum on exiting Pays-de-la-Loire region
Photo: AFP

On Friday the town council of Nantes voted in favour of requesting the French government organise a referendum so local people can have their say about whether they wish to remain in the Pays-de-la-Loire region or become part of Brittany – a region that many say the town has more historic and cultural connections to.

The vote on Friday was carried by 56 votes and concerns whether the département of Loire-Atlantique – which contains Nantes – should move regions.

READ ALSO The 20 essential maps you need to understand Brittany

 

The vote follows a petition in 2018 which gathered 105,000 signatures.

Nantes mayor Johanna Rolland said: “This strong citizen mobilisation cannot be ignored. It reflects the aspiration of our fellow citizens to be consulted to a greater extent, in a context of essential revitalisation of our democracy.”

The desire of people in the Loire-Atlantique to become Breton isn't new.
 
The départment was part of Brittany until World War II, when it was separated and made part of the neighbouring region by the Vichy government. That region eventually became the Pays-de-la-Loire in 1955.
 
The issue has been simmering since then and pro-Breton voices have become louder in recent years as they hope to take advantage of a law that allows départments to chose which region they belong to via a referendum.
 
The town, which is the historic seat of the Dukes of Brittany, also declared its intention to  “set up a permanent pluralist body to engage in a genuine consultation with the State on the organisation of this referendum, organise an in-depth debate on the issues and consequences of a redistribution in order to feed the citizen debate, and formulate proposals to strengthen cooperation between Nantes and the other Breton territories”. 
 
However the referendum will have to be approved by both the national government and the regional authorities.
 

France's regions were reorganised in 2016 and several were merged to create the current 13 regions of mainland France.

Brittany currently covers four départements – Ille-et-Vilaine, Côtes-d'Armor, Finistère and Morbihan – while Pays-de-la-Loire covers Loire-Atlantique, Maine-et-Loire, Mayenne, Sarthe and Vendée. Nantes is currently the largest town in the region.

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