Paris (EFE) create noise and bad smells.
A few meters from the famous cemetery where Jim Morrison, Marcel Proust or Frédéric Chopin lie, Geraldine and Ivan hand out flyers to passers-by near the future location of the well-known brand with a concise message: “No to Burger King in Martin Nadaud Square ».
In just over a week, more than 15,000 people have signed the petition and have forced the local authorities to take action on a matter that highlights the tensions in large cities between those who want to preserve local businesses and those who claim the freedom to undertake and the right to eat cheap.
“It is not about saying if we are in favor or against ‘fast food’ in general, what we are saying is that, today, in this neighborhood, there is already too much fast food, we don’t need more,” he told EFE. the mayor of the XX district, the socialist Éric Pliez.
Pliez takes up the arguments of the neighborhood initiative. Noise and the risk of accidents will increase due to the number of motorcycle delivery people that will be in the vicinity of Martin Nadaud, a pleasant pedestrian square where dozens of families enjoy the sunset.
«The garbage, the remains of food, will also increase. We are opposed to this particular project and we will tell the company in the next few days”, he adds.
The councilor clarifies, however, that legally the City Council cannot act in the event of the approval -still pending- of the community of residents of the property in question.
The Paris Councilor for Commerce, Olivia Polski, confirms to EFE that the idea of the meeting with the promoter is to “look for an alternative with a more positive social and environmental impact.”
“This project will not be adapted to the heritage history and identity of the neighborhood either, the project is close to several protected heritage sites, such as Père Lachaise, and historical buildings,” he adds.
The BNP Paribas bank, manager of the rental, and the Bertrand group, representative of Burger King in France, did not respond to EFE’s questions.
“Incites to eat badly”
Geraldine, 48, is one of the residents of the discord building. Her apartment is above the future Burger King. Together with her neighbor Pierre de ella, she was the first to sign and the one who wrote the petition that circulates on the internet.
“We were very surprised by the repercussion, when we launched it we did it without too many expectations,” admits the woman. “Burger King embodies what a large multinational is, which encourages poor eating and right next to two schools and a nursery,” she adds.
The neighbor estimates that this place could be used for other more constructive uses for the neighborhood, such as culture.
Ivan Esposito, a 42-year-old Italian architect who has lived in Paris for more than a decade, criticizes the fast-food franchise’s plan because he believes that “it will generate more traffic and more danger associated with the delivery guys’ motorcycles.”
“In addition, it is next to a particularly family square that already has restaurants, where parents are calm, watching their children play,” laments the neighbor, father of two little girls.
“I think it will not generate the dirt they say”
But not all residents of the XX are opposed to the famous brand of the Whopper. Thierry, a 27-year-old who grew up in the neighborhood, says that the opening of Burger King does not matter to him, although he considers the allegations of mobilized residents exaggerated.
Less than 200 meters from the future Burger King, on Avenida Gambetta, there are already two fast food franchises: Taco Bell and McDonald’s.
In the immediate vicinity of the local direct competition of the king of the Whopper, few of his clients find the time (or the desire) to pronounce themselves on the controversy.
One of them – an employee in his 30s who works in the neighborhood – gives his verdict as soon as he closes the door of McDonald’s. “I was unaware of the matter, but I think there is no need for more fast food in the neighborhood.”