French court orders closure of grocery shop which does not sell pork or alcohol

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The court ordered a convenience store's lease agreement in a town near Paris to be torn up on the grounds that the outlet failed to operate as a general “grocery” shop as agreed. The landlord, a local authority housing agency, says the shopkeeper does not sell pork products or alcohol, though it denies any religious motive behind its court action. The shopkeeper, meanwhile, is set to appeal. Louise Fessard reports on a case that appears to be the first of its kind in France.

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The High Court at Nanterre west of Paris has ordered a convenience store to cease trading for failing to respect its lease agreement to run a general “grocery store”. The court made its ruling on December 4th, 2012, after hearing that the store in Colombes, a town in the north-west suburbs of Paris, sold almost exclusively Eastern and halal products and did not stock either pork products or alcohol.