The French go to the barricades – for Big Macs

The French go to the barricades – for Big Macs

They thirst for vengeance – or at least, for a large Coke and an order of fries -in Northern France, where the citizens of Saint-Pol-sur-Ternoise have been ready to demonstrate in the streets because local bureaucrats are delaying construction of a McDonald’s the town has been promised.

Les citoyens are angry at delays to the opening of their new “MacDo” as they are called in France, and this week 200 were planning a protest to demand a new outlet of the fast-food chain, according to the Local.

It is not something the left-bank intellectuals want to admit, but the French love Big Macs. The Local quotes Business Week: “France has become the chain’s No.2 market after the US, with 1,300 outlets bringing in more than $5 billion in annual sales.”

The Facebook page gathering protestors has received almost 4,000 likes, nearly equal to the population of Saint-Pol, according to the Voix du Nord newspaper.

The new “MacDo” has been delayed by the local commune over a dispute over planning for the site. The land was re-classified last year for industrial or “artisanal” use, not commercial. There is also a dispute over plans to construct a rubbish dump nearby.

The city residents however want the dispute to end and the construction to finish on the Golden Arches. They see the chance for Big Macs and jobs at the restaurant. One protestor said that without it: Saint-Pol est et restera une ville morte – Saint-Pol is and will stay a ghost town.

Local bureaucrats should end the delays, said a leader of the protests: “Given the number of people mobilized, they cannot close their eyes.”