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Tiny town in Provence fights to keep out the Big Mac

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Tiny town in Provence fights to keep out the Big Mac
Photo: AFP
16:10 CEST+02:00
Residents of a small town in Provence have united together to try to block US burger giant McDonald’s from setting up its golden arches in town.

The French are believed to eat the most Big Macs per head of any country outside the United States but the burgers do not always go down well in the land of fine cuisine.

The town of Saint-Romain-en-Viennois, which stands next to the historic and picturesque Vaison-la-Romaine, is refusing to digest the news that McDonald’s are to open up a branch in town.

(The countryside around Vaison-la-Romaine in Provence. Photo: Kmashke/Flickr).

Residents in the town that stands in the heart of Provence wine country have launched a petition that has managed to garner 9,000 signatures.

“Residents have written to the mayor but we have not had any response since August 15th,” said their spokesman Jean-Luc Thomas.

“We were never asked to discuss this project. It’s important because this will affect the whole area.

“They are frying food, so there will be smells and litter and with the Mistral wind it will be blown throughout all the vineyards and surrounding houses.

But the mayor believes he is powerless to stop the arrival of Ronald McDonald.

“McDonald’s wants to set up on a commercial area on private land. I do not see how we can deny that,” he said.

“There are many people who are for it who are asking ‘who exactly will it disturb’? People talk of litter and rubbish, but that’s a question of education.”

McDonald’s are declining to comment until they have been given the green light, but opponents have vowed to fight on.

A demonstration and workshops around junk food and the protection of the environment is organised for September 24th.

Although many in France have fallen for the Big Mac there have been some high profile campaigns against the fast food chain in recent years, most notably in Paris.

Last year residents in the historic Rue Montorgueil area in the 2nd arrondissement of Paris stepped up the long-running battle to keep the McDonald’s from opening up a giant store in the neighbourhood.

The campaign in Paris is in stark contrast to that which took place in the northern town of Saint-Pol-sur-Ternoise last year where locals staged a protest demanding a new McDonald's.

Indeed is hard to deny the healthy appetite in France for McDonald’s burgers.

In the link below Janine Marsh, editor of the Good Life France website explores why exactly, the French of all people are so McDo pro.

Why do the French love McDonald's so much?

Why do the French love McDonald's so much?

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