France - 
Article published the Wednesday 12 December 2012 - Latest update : Wednesday 12 December 2012

French court orders eviction of anti-Nantes airport protesters

Police remove barricades erected by protesters on the route to the airport site
Reuters/Stephane Mahe

By RFI

A French court has given the green light to officials to tear down illegal squats on land slated to become an airport near Nantes in western France. Activists, who have been building shacks on the land since last month, say Tuesday's court order means nothing.

Opponents of the airport project, which is supported by Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, a previous mayor of Nantes, say it will damage the biodiversity of the surrounding countryside.

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Along with farmers who have been evicted from their homes in the area, many squatters claim the temporary buildings are their primary residences.

Anti-airport activist Isabelle Michel told RFI that an eviction order is still being challenged in court, so police cannot legally start tearing down the structures.

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The court, in the Brittany town of Saint Nazaire, ruled against an attempt to make farmers   who have been evicted pay for the destruction of structures built on the land since the protests started.

A new demonstration against the airport is to be held next Saturday and squatters threatened protests throughout France if they are evicted.

President François Hollande's newly appointed special envoy on the environment, Nicolas Hulot, on Wednesday came out against the airport and called on the authorities to back down.

Hulot, a popular TV presenter who made a bid to become the Green party's presidential candidate this year, said it was inconsistent to call for a reduction of greenhouse gases and sacrifice 1,700 hectares of farmland for the sake of air transport.

 

tags: Airport - Court - Demonstration - Ecology - France - Green - Jean-Marc Ayrault - Law - Nantes - Notre-Dame-des-Landes - Protests
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It is easy, but somewhat

It is easy, but somewhat lazy, to state, in "the interests of balance," that the principal argument against the proposed airport at Notre Dames des Landes is that "it will damage the biodiversity of the surrounding countryside." But any prudent taxpayer who takes the trouble to inform themselves on the issue would be against the scheme.
The fact is that the cost benefit analysis used by the public enquiry when it approved the project was flawed; and the official who signed off this enquiry "in the public interest" now works for the company awarded the contract to build the airport. That same company has also seconded its airports chief to advise the French government on aviation policy. How cosy! Hardly surprising then that the majority are against it: they don't see why they should pay a massive (266 million euro) subsidy for a useless white elephant. More here: http://juliusbeezer.blogspot.fr/2012/11/hawk-handsaw-who-knows.html

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