French is­land loses court fight over Mcdon­ald’s ban

The Daily Telegraph - - World News - By Henry Sa­muel in Paris

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).

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