Golden Arches at the Vatican City: Other forays by McDonald's and Starbucks that prompted protests

A McDonald's sign is seen at Via della Conciliazione street in Rome, Italy in front of Vatican City's St. Peter's Square on Jan 3, 2017.
A McDonald's sign is seen at Via della Conciliazione street in Rome, Italy in front of Vatican City's St. Peter's Square on Jan 3, 2017. PHOTO: REUTERS

A McDonald's restaurant erected a stone's throw from Saint Peter's Square have riled cardinals in the Vatican.

The American fast-food chain is reported to be paying 30,000 euros (S$45,000) a month into the Vatican's coffers, but locals fear it will ruin a historical area.

It's not the first time the Golden Arches and Starbucks - symbols of consumerism and globalisation - have prompted outcries among locals.

Florence says no

McDonald's sued Florence for 18 million euros in November last year after the city blocked the opening of a restaurant on the Piazza del Duomo - one of the country's most historic town squares.

The fast-food giant said it was discriminated against but local officials said it was their right to reject an application to open a restaurant at the plaza.

Forbidden cafe


A Starbucks at Beijing's Forbidden City was forced to close in 2007 after protests by nationalistic Chinese netizens and a patriotic tirade by a Chinese TV news anchor. PHOTO: ST FILE

A Starbucks at Beijing's Forbidden City was forced to close in 2007 after protests by nationalistic Chinese netizens and a patriotic tirade by a Chinese TV news anchor.

Mr Rui Chenggang called the outlet, which opened in 2001, an "attack on Chinese culture".

The Starbucks outlet in a small pavilion near the rear of the former imperial palace was replaced with a Chinese tea shop.

West Lake controversy


A passer-by looks at the logo of a McCafe that was opened in the old home of former Taiwan leader Chiang Ching-kuo in Hangzhou, China. PHOTO: CHINA DAILY

McDonald's also served up controversy in 2015 when it opened a McCafe in a historic building in Hangzhou, home to the famed West Lake.

The building was the former home of late Taiwanese President Chiang Ching-kuo, son of Kuomintang chief Chiang Kai-shek.

The Chiang family lived in the house only briefly in 1948, AFP reported.

A branch of US coffee chain Starbucks opened in an annex of the same house two months ago, China Daily said, apparently with little controversy.

No backers for Maccas


The townsfolk of Tecoma, Australia, has continued to protest against McDonald's setting up a store in their town. PHOTO: FACEBOOK

Tecoma, a small town east of Melbourne, turned its fight against a McDonald's restaurant into a global cause.

The protesters' tactics, such as placing garden gnomes on the steps of McDonald's Melbourne headquarters, got the attention of the international media and even celebrity chef Jamie Oliver.

But McDonald's, popularly known as Maccas in Australia, went ahead in 2014.

Starbucks' first cuppa in Italy

Starbucks is making its first foray into Italy - the land of the espresso - this year. The country's cafe culture was what inspired Starbucks founder Howard Schultz to start the coffee chain.

"We're going to come here with great humility," said Mr Schultz when he announced the move early last year.

Will Italians reject the American brand? The verdict will be out only after its first store opens in Milan.

I do to McDo

Some people, though, are lovin' it. In the small French town of Saint-Pol-sur-Ternoise, in northern France, locals took to the streets to protest when town authorities stopped the building of a McDonald's restaurant due to zoning regulations.

The protesters said it would provide badly needed jobs and add to the social life of the town, said a Telegraph report which also called the protest "unlikely".

Commonly known as McDo in France, the fast-food chain is surpisingly popular in the country.