Codacons appeal against McDonald's near Vatican

American fast-food chain McDonald's

 ROME -- The consumer protection pressure group Codacons appealed Wednesday to the Lazio Administrative Court to suspend the opening of a McDonald’s near St Peter's Square in the Eternal City, Codacons president said.

 “The last word on the opening of a McDonald’s in Borgo Pio has been left up to the Lazio Regional Administrative Court,” said the Codacon consumer protection pressure group, who strongly oppose the inauguration of the American fast-food chain in Borgo Pio not far from St Peter’s square in the capital’s historic centre.

 Codacons filed an appeal Wednesday with the Administrative Court asking to suspend the authorisation granted by the Municipality of Rome for this Borgo Pio McDonald’s shop, Il Messaggero reports.

 “At the core of our appeal is the violation of the communal council’s resolution 35 from 2010, which forbids the transformation of public administration activities characterised by traditional cuisine into administration of just foreign cooking,” explained Codacons president Carlo Rienzi.

 “Furthermore, the Municipality of Rome, with its resolution 36 from 2006, dictated a unifying discipline in terms of commercial and artisanal activities within the perimeter of the historic city,” Rienzi continued.

 “Fundamentally, the administration deemed that the care for the culture patrimony, in some zones of Rome, means it is necessary to impose the ban of opening new commercial fast-food places and other chains, other than those already up and running.”

 “For this reason, we have decided to turn to the Lazio Regional Administrative Court, maintaining that the decision of the Municipality is wrong, and we have asked them to suspend the authorisation granted to the Borgo Pio McDonald’s, with the aim of caring for residents and the historic centre of Rome,” the Codacons president concluded.

 Multiple business owners and residents had already complained regarding the inauguration, fearing that fast-food culture clashes with the traditional atmosphere of the area.

 In October, numerous cardinals living in the apartment building where the new McDonald’s restaurant would be opening also protested about fast-food chain’s presence in this historic quarter.

 The apartment building is inhabited by numerous cardinals. Retired Pope Benedict for example once lived on the second floor, which is now inhabited by Gerhard Ludwig Mueller, the well-known German theologian.

 A bank used to be situated on the first floor of the palazzo, however, since the closing of the branch, the space has been left vacant. In the past, the expensive rent had discouraged many businesses from opening there, until the mega-chain McDonald’s swooped in recently.