“Paris is no longer so romantic”, “the City of Light is losing its luster” or even “Paris stinks”… In the most visited city in the world, the garbage collection strike, organized against the pension reform, does not not go unnoticed abroad.
“On the selfies of tourists arise unexpected guests”, laments “El Mundo”. For the conservative Madrid daily, Paris has turned into an “open dump” in which “rats on the lookout lick their lips in front of this unexpected feast”.
“In the French capital, garbage collectors are on strike, heaps of stinking rubbish are piling up in the streets, politicians are yelling at each other, and the city fears a probable invasion of… rats! “, abounds the American media Politico. “The foul smell of rotten food began to escape from the garbage bags,” reports the Associated Press.
Monuments surrounded by rubbish
“The City of Light looks more like a garbage city”, judge “Forbes”, while for CNN, “in front of the cafes and shops of the city, the view is unappetizing”.
“Waste spoils many of the city’s most picturesque streets, close to emblematic monuments, including the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe”, adds the American magazine. The walls of garbage cans actually invite themselves into the wanderings of tourists. On the banks of the Seine along Notre-Dame, heaps of rubbish obstruct the view. In the hypercentre, once romantic alleys are studded with boxes, crates and sometimes spoiled food.
The Olympic Games in sight
In 2022, 34.5 million tourists packed their bags in Paris. Will they be as numerous after this episode? Less than 500 days from the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games, this strike could tarnish the image of the capital internationally.
Tuesday, the ninth day of the strike, some 7,000 tons of uncollected garbage were counted, according to the municipality. The oppositions refer the responsibility to the Paris City Hall, which accuses the government.
The Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin, instructed the Paris police chief on Tuesday evening to ask the town hall to “requisition” means to evacuate the thousands of tons of garbage. For the entourage of the minister, the question is now of a health order. The requisition request also responds to a letter sent by the mayor (LR) of VIIe district, Rachida Dati.
If the town hall “does not give following the requisition, the State will replace”, assures the entourage of Gérald Darmanin. “The government announces that it will ask for a requisition. I call on him for social dialogue, ”reacted, in a tweet, Anne Hidalgo.