French island loses court fight over Mcdonald’s ban
AN ISLAND off western France has lost its battle against Mcdonald’s after a court ruled the fast food giant should be granted a building permit.
An appeal court in Bordeaux has ordered the town of Dolus-d’oléron, on the Atlantic island of Oléron, a popular tourist destination, to let Mcdonald’s start building a restaurant on its shores.
Grégory Gendre, the mayor, had been fighting to keep his island free of “malbouffe” (junk food), arguing that the chain was out of step with its smallscale, eco-friendly way of life.
He had even created a sustainable food area on the site where Mcdonald’s wanted to build a restaurant as an alternative. He dubbed the food zone “Mcdolus”, a play on the name of the American fast food company and the town. On offer was a version of a “big mac meal” that included organic oysters, eel with parsley, and local wines.
But the town paid a high price for the mayor’s war. A lower court in Poitiers last year ordered it to grant the building permit and if it failed to do so to pay €300 (£263) for every day that it was withheld.
The Bordeaux court this week upheld that judgment, meaning Dolusd’oléron must now pay €105,000 (£92,000) in fines and a further €300 every day until it issues the permit.
“Le Burger” was recently proclaimed France’s favourite snack, and the country is Mcdonald’s biggest market in the world outside the US. The company’s turnover in France in 2017 was €4.85 billion (£4.2 billion).