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VIDEO: Watch France’s spectacular Bastille Day fireworks

France celebrated its fête nationale with the usual spectaclar fireworks display over the Eiffel Tower - but due to health restrictions there were no crowds this year.

VIDEO: Watch France's spectacular Bastille Day fireworks
Photo: AFP

Normally thousands of people flock to central Paris to watch the concert on the Champs de Mars and the fireworks over the tower which round off the July 14th celebrations.

However due to the health crisis, there was no spectator space this year and instead the fireworks and concert were relayed on TV.

That didn't mean the display was any less ambitious than usual, though, and also included a tribute to the 'everyday heroes' who kept the country going throughout the pandemic and lockdown.

Here are some of the highlights.

 

 

 

Those lucky enough to have a balcony with a view of the Tower watched from their homes.

 

While others watched from vantage points in the city including the Montparnasse Tower and the Ecole militaire.

 

Others went to the bridges over the Seine to get a good view.

 

 

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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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