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Marseille Likes its McDonald’s

It is unheard of. In France, McDonald’s has long stood for the triumph of junk food, economic imperialism, and the spread of American culture. French farmer and politician José Bové shot to fame when he destroyed a McDonald’s restaurant, and for four years, the inhabitants of Oléron have been fighting to keep the fast-food chain from opening a restaurant on their island.

The opposite is now happening in Marseille. A restaurant located in a working-class, largely immigrant neighborhood north of the city is scheduled to close and its employees are fighting to keep their jobs. “Even though McDonald’s was once seen as a cultural menace to a glorious French tradition,” observes a New York Times reporter, “the workers say this particular McDonald’s, in its quarter-century of existence, has played a vital role as a social integrator in one of France’s most troubled districts.”

Read more at The New York Times