France Interview

The small-town mayor leading the Breton revolt against the French green tax

Despite government promises of millions of euros in aid and a new 'pact for the future' for the region, the people of Brittany continue to protest against job cuts and the planned eco-tax – even though ministers have 'suspended' it. One of the leaders of this rebellion is a local mayor called Christian Troadec. Mediapart's Rachida El Azzouzi profiles this straight-talking left-wing leader, then interviews him to find out what is behind this upswell of regional anger and why the movement has chosen to adopt as a symbol the red hats worn by Breton demonstrators who protested against a tax imposed by King Louis XIV back in 1675...

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Friends and foes alike agree on one thing about Christian Troadec: he upsets people. “You either love him or you hate him,” is an expression often used to describe the local politician. Just at the moment, it is probably fair to say that most members of the French government, from President François Hollande and prime minister Jean-Marc Ayrault down, probably fall into the latter camp. For Troadec, the mayor of the small Breton town of Carhaix-Plouguer, is one of the main figures in the current protests against the central government that have been sweeping across Brittany in western France in recent weeks.

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