France

Ayrault blames violent minority for airport site clashes

Reuters/Charles Platiau

French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault has condemned violence at the site of a proposed airport near Nantes in western France after a security guard was injured during protests against the project.

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During a joint press conference with Britain’s deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, who is visiting Paris, Ayrault described the incident at the Notre-Dame-des Landes site as unacceptable.

He blamed "violent tiny minorities, some of them from other countries in Europe, who are opposing decisions which are legal and perfectly democratic” for the clashes that have pitched police against demonstrators.

A security guard employed to guard premises near the site of the planned airport in Nantes was injured in the early hours of Tuesday morning. At least 20 protesters who oppose the airport attacked the officer and set his car alight.

Protesters have announced plans to reclaim the site on Saturday.

Green Senator Jean-Vincent Placé, whose EELV is in the government coalition, and hard-left former presidential candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon are expected to participate.
 

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