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European Journal

France: Protests Against Mega-Airport

In France, large crowds have been demonstrating for months against the proposed construction of a huge new airport near Nantes. The project is aimed at beefing up the regional economy, and strengthening transportation ties with the rest of France.

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The airport has been on the drawing board for five decades -- but the project has taken on a more concrete shape over the last ten years. Over the same period, the public protests have increased. The demonstrators include environmentalists, and farmers who don't want to give up their land. The protesters have occupied a large tract of land near the site, and have resisted efforts by the police to remove them. Construction has now been postponed, and the government has commissioned a study to see whether it might be better to simply expand the current regional airport at Nantes.