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France's love-hate relationship with Mickey D


France is second only to the U.S. in per-capita consumption of Big Macs and all the rest, but not everyone is happy about it.

In Saint-Romain-en-Viennois, a tiny hamlet outside the small town of Vaison-la-Romaine in Provence, residents have gotten 9,000 signatures on a petition demanding that McDonald's cancel a plan to open a store there. Considering that 9,000 is quite a few more people than the entire population of both towns, that's pretty impressive, although the mayor points out there's no legal basis to block the opening.

At the other end of the spectrum, in northern France, residents of Saint-Pol-sur-Ternoise demonstrated last year demanding that McDonald's open a branch there.

Even Paris, where McDonald has dozens of locations, including the world's largest (on the Champs-Elysees), is not immune to controversy: a long-running campaign has so far kept Mickey D off the Rue Montorgueil, where it wanted to open another large restaurant.

The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

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The French see themselves as being the pinnacle of epicural delight.  But unfortunately the McD chain provides a good and affordable alternative. Not everyone wants waiter service 3 times a day. Only the well heeled could afford it.

The French object to calling a fast food outlet a "Restaurant". So that's the root of the problem. Snobbery. You can take the quails eggs in aspic - at the top of the "dress for dinner" brigade - or a Big Mac to fill your belly.

I love a well presented meal as much as anyone.

But I object to leaving a restaurant - that serves "nouvelle cuisine" - feeling hungry.

Last edited by GarryRF
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