Paris fairground workers block traffic over decision to cancel Christmas market

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Paris fairground workers block traffic over decision to cancel Christmas market
Photo: AFP

Champs-Elysées carnival workers have followed through on their promise to "block" traffic in the capital in response to Paris City Hall's decision to cancel this year's Christmas market.


Fairground workers blocked traffic on the outskirts of the French capital on Monday after hearing confirmation that the Champs-Elysées Christmas market would not be going ahead this year. 
But the action is unlikely to come as a surprise with Marcel Campion, so-called "King of fairground workers" warning authorities on Thursday that this would be the result if the event didn't go ahead, reported Europe 1
Staying true to his word, at 6.30am on Monday morning about 60 protesters on the roads caused nearly 10 kilometres of backed up traffic on the A13 to the west of Paris, with disruptions also seen on the A4 (to the east of the capital). 
There were also delays on the A6 and A86, with drivers warned that traffic "may be very disturbed" and could get worse throughout Monday. 
Paris officials already ruled in the summer that the event wouldn't go ahead, at least not if it's organized Campion as it has been in recent years. 
But Campion on Thursday threatened "to block Paris" if the decision wasn't reversed.
Campion, who met with Paris officials on Friday, said that there has been a disagreement over the fine print in the contract as to whether it was a 2-year or 6-year deal, according to French media reports. 
In any case, Campion and his army of workers have no intentions of leaving quietly. 
They've already been unceremoniously towed away by police after trying to set up stalls earlier this week. 
And Campion has warned that he will bring it to a standstill. 
“If the event is cancelled then we will start protests on Monday and hold them every day. Paris will be blocked,” Campion told reporters. 
He added that up to 2,000 jobs were at risk if the event was cancelled. 
“We don't want compensation, we want our jobs. Most people here do not have a cheque waiting for them at the end of the month,” he added.
It remains unclear if the Paris officials will authorize anyone at all to organize markets on the Champs-Elysees, or indeed if the event will be cancelled totally. 


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