The French town of Angoulême stirred up ccontroversyon Christmas Eve by putting cages around public benches to keep homeless people at bay.
Shopkeepers in Angoulême, in central France, said they were fed up with drunks monopolising the benches and scaring customers away.
A spokesman for the city told AFP the seating areas were used “pretty much exclusively by drunks every day”.
Local reactions were indignant at this breach of the Christmas peace.
Former Angoulême MP Guillaume Garot called the move “shameful – this isn’t my France”, while others took to social media to express “outrage” at the move during the festive season.
According to local daily “La Charente libre”, the town’s centre-right administration has recognised a “glitch” and suggested it might “temporarily remove” the cages.