French activists celebrate abandoned airport project

AP News
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Posted: Feb 10, 2018 12:24 PM

PARIS (AP) — A colorful crowd has celebrated the French government's decision to abandon plans to build a new airport in the west of the country.

At a victory party Saturday, thousands of environmentalists, farmers and activists, some wearing Carnival masks, symbolically set fire to a giant wooden plane in a field in Notre-Dame-des-Landes. The village near the western city of Nantes was where a controversial airport was to be built.

Supporters from other French regions joined activists who have occupied the site and camped out in makeshift settlements for years to resist the project, hoping to make the land "a space of social, environmental and agricultural experimentation."

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Last month, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced that France won't build the planned airport, putting an end to a half-century-old project.