May 17, 2018 / 5:11 AM / 10 days ago

French police move to clear eco-activists from abandoned airport site

PARIS (Reuters) - French police on Thursday started another operation to evacuate eco-activists and anarchists squatting on a site in western France that had been planned as a new airport, and which had sparked previous clashes.

The latest move to clear out the squatters from the Notre-Dame-des-Landes site in western France begun at 0600 Paris time (0400 GMT), the French interior ministry said in a statement.

A police operation to evacuate the bulk of the squatters was launched in April and resulted in violent clashes with protesters.

The site had been squatted for years by opponents of the plan to build a 580 million euros ($686 million) regional airport, which the government decided to drop in January.

Construction company Vinci has said it is ready to discuss government compensation for the loss of its contract to develop Notre-Dame-des-Landes.

($1 = 0.8457 euros)

Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta and Danielle Rouquie; Editing by Darren Schuettler

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