'Brits go home' demand Brittany protestors

20th February 2005, Comments 0 comments

BOURBRIAC, France, Feb 19 (AFP) - About 100 people staged a demonstration in Brittany Saturday to protest escalating house prices in the region, blamed largely on an influx of buyers from Britain in the past few years.

BOURBRIAC, France, Feb 19 (AFP) - About 100 people staged a demonstration in Brittany Saturday to protest escalating house prices in the region, blamed largely on an influx of buyers from Britain in the past few years.

The protest held in the village of Bourbriac was organised by a group tied to the leftist Breton nationalist movement.

Gaelle Roblin, a spokesperson for the group, called for action "against those who are selling out our country." She criticised estate agents, lawyers and elected officials for the housing situation, which she described as "a colonisation by the English."

Several smaller protests about rising housing prices have been held in other Breton villages in western France during the past several weeks.

Bourbriac's mayor, Yannick Botrel, told AFP that 35 of 40 old houses sold in the village in the past few years were bought by British people.

"But generally there's not a problem with them," said the mayor, who stayed away from the demonstration. The mayor also said French retirees moving from Paris to the country had done more to drive up house prices than the British.

The British make up the largest foreign community in Brittany, followed by the Moroccans and the Portuguese, according to a report by the local statistics office last year.

"The problem with the English is that they live together in exile. They don't try to integrate" into Breton life, said Sybille, one of the Breton protestors.

© AFP

Subject: French News

0 Comments To This Article