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LIFE IN PARIS

Parisians must clean up after themselves, insists the city’s mayor

Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo says that residents must start cleaning up after themselves after the city was labelled the dirtiest in Europe.

Parisians must clean up after themselves, insists the city's mayor
Whose fault is the grubby state of Paris? Photo AFP

The city was named the 'dirty man of Europe' in an article in British newspaper The Guardian, a label that has provoked quite the controversy in the French capital.

Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo says she wants to step up education on the issue to ensure that Parisians respect their local environment.

 

The city spends almost €600 million a year on cleaning, yet despite that visitors and locals alike often remark on the dirty streets, scattered rubbish and sometimes frankly overpowering smell of urine.

So is it really the fault of Parisians?

The city authorities certainly think so, and have launched a number of measures aimed at getting Paris residents to clean up.

As well as the hefty annual budget for the Paris Propréte street cleaning service, city hall also  funds 'incivility brigades' which can fine people €68 for anti social acts like throwing litter in the streets, failing to clean up after a dog or public urination.


The frequent torching of wheelie bins in Paris over the last year probably hasn't helped matters. Photo: AFP

Now the Socialist mayor Anne Hidalgo wants is looking at introducing more education programmes to hammer home the importance of keeping the streets clean.

She told radio station France Info: “I am obviously not satisfied with the situation.

“It's an educational problem, and I think we have to start all over again. Respect education, respect for others, respect for the environment, respect for the place where you live.”
 
The Paris mairie is already working with local schools on the issue and children have been heavily involved in the clean-up efforts.
 
There have also been initiatives run by local people such as the 'fill the bottle' challenge, which urges people to fill a bottle with discarded cigarette ends found on the street, and clean-up efforts in specific litter hotspots such as the Canal Saint-Martin.
 
 
 
And although many people turned out on Saturday to clean up the streets as part of World Cleanup Day, it might be just a drop in the ocean if their fellow Parisians continue chucking litter on the streets.

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TRAVEL

Striking workers block Paris airport terminal, flights delayed

Striking airport workers have blocked part Paris’s Charles de Gaulle airport, with some flights already delayed by at least one hour.

Striking workers block Paris airport terminal, flights delayed
Striking airport workers outside Charles-de-Gaulle airport in Paris. Photo: Geoffroy van der Hasselt | AFP

Last month, trade unions representing workers at the Aéroports de Paris (ADP) – the city’s Charles-de-Gaulle-Roissy and Orly airports – called for a strike between July 1st and July 5th in an ongoing dispute between French airport workers and bosses over contract renegotiations.

A second wave of protests are expected next week, after a strike notice was filed for July 9th.

Tensions mounted on Friday morning as some 400 protesters staged a raucous demonstration at CDG’s terminal 2E, which mostly deals with flights outside the Schengen zone, as police officers looked on.

At Orly airport, meanwhile, some 250 people demonstrated “outside”, while a small group was inside.

The dispute is over a long-term plan by ADP to bring in new work contracts for employees at the airports, which unions say will lower pay, job losses and a reduction in rights and bonuses for employees.

The strike is being jointly called by the CGT, CFE-CGE, Unsa, CFDT and FO unions, who said in a joint press release that the proposals will “definitively remove more than a month’s salary from all employees and force them to accept geographical mobility that will generate additional commuting time”.

Unions say that staff face dismissal if they do not sign the new contracts.

ADP said on Wednesday that it expected ‘slight delays for some flights but no cancellations’ to services – but it urged travellers to follow its social media operations for real-time updates.

On Thursday, the first day of action, 30 percent of flights were delayed between 15 minutes and half-an-hour.

ADP’s CEO Augustin de Romanet had said on Tuesday that ‘everything would be done to ensure no flight is cancelled’. 

ADP reported a loss of €1.17 billion in 2020. 

Stressing that discussions are continuing over the proposed new contracts, the CEO called for “an effort of solidarity, with a red line: no forced layoffs.”

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