France: Paris gives protesters a taste of the good life

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A contingent of jobless protesters took Sunday breakfast in a luxurious Left Bank hotel, just hours after dining on oysters and steak at a landmark eatery - meals offered by the establishments and sympathetic clients.

After a march in Paris on Saturday, about 30 protesters made their way to La Coupole and, after refusing sandwiches in the basement where employees eat, were wined and dined with weekend customers, one of the protesters said. La Coupole also promised 15 jobs.

At midnight, half went on to the Hotel Lutetia "to sleep in a chic hotel", said Nicolas Chantome, 24, a student supporting the jobless in their quest for increased state aid.

The hotel confirmed that, after negotiations, the protesters were allowed to sleep on sofas in the main lounge and offered breakfast before leaving at 6:15am.

In a statement issued yesterday, the group called on the jobless, students, workers and illegal immigrants to "requisition the riches wherever they are".

- AP, Paris