The French town of Angoulême stirred up controversy on 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”.
But local reactions were indignant at this breach of the Christmas spirit. Former Angoulême MP Guillaume Garot said the move was “shameful", adding: "This isn’t my France.”