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Current issues in France

I have a trip to France scheduled for April. With the garbage workers on strike, one or more general strikes planned, and protests that lead to police using tear gas, should I postpone?

Already, I have learned that the Eifel Tower is closed, until the garbage workers return to work. So, I can't buy advance tickets.

Posted by
13207 posts

Are you sure about the Eiffel Tower being closed? I looked on their FB page and they show open and the only thing on their official website is this:

"Saturday, may 18th : due to the arrival of the Ecotrail run, the stairs are closed to the public at 3h30 PM. We apologize for the inconvenience."

Wondering where you saw they are closed?

There are certain arrondissements where the garbage workers are picking up as usual. Balso, I think, gave a website which I will search out in a minute for you.

I'm going to be there mid-April for 10 days. I'm staying in the 7th where I usually stay and have no plans to change at this time. I've allowed myself some flexibility in days on train journeys to Paris and from Paris to London in case of strikes but I did that before I knew there were going to be strikes. The protests are in isolated areas - usually a large square where a lot of people can gather. You can easily avoid the protesters if there happen to still be protests when you are there.

editing to add: Here is the link Balso posted elsewhere. The green zones use the City of Paris sanitation workers and are where there are strikes. The other colors use private collectors and are not on strike.

2nd edit: I was just able to go thru the official ticketing site to the point where I put in my CC for a 2nd level visit on April 19 at 5PM so tickets for April are being sold. Many other days in April have the hatch marks on the calendar meaning they are sold out.

Posted by
112 posts

Likely you saw news footage of protesters and riot police in the Place de la Concorde last night and from what I understand there were a couple of other places with protesters/riot police last night. Not trying to sound blasé or anything but for those of us who live in Paris protests with riot police are nothing new and are a normal occurrence. The Place de la Concorde and wherever else in Paris there were protests/riot police last night occupy less than 1/10th of 1 percent of the land area in Paris so if you weren't in these very small and limited/confined areas last night then you would have had no idea that there were protests occurring. In the event that you are in Paris and encounter such a protest then you will see it coming as you are walking down the street and all you need to do is turn and walk in another direction. It would be absolutely impossible to be surprised by such an event. In regards to garbage, that is a temporary thing that happens from time to time during strikes and it will likely be over long before your April vacation.

The news media loves to exploit situations like this for the shocking, sensationalist images they provide that boost ratings. These images are taken completely out of context with what's going on in 99.99% of the rest of the city where life goes on as usual. For years I have been receiving anxious and worried phone calls from my parents in the U.S. wondering if I'm O.K. every time they see images of Paris protests on tv. It took almost 10 years but they have finally (mostly) stopped phoning and asking me if I'm safe every time they see a Paris protest on tv. The rap group Public Enemy said it best when they said "Don't Believe the Hype".

Posted by
8 posts

We're leaving for France this week, with several inter-city rail trips planned before winding up in Paris April 4.
We won't attend the demonstrations/ riots; even a large demonstration is only a tiny area within a city, and it's easy to pick a different neighborhood to explore.
I have a wee concern about rail strikes, but hopeful this won't hit one of our travel days. I do hope the garbage situation in Paris is resolved -- if not, experiencing labor unrest in Paris will make a good travel story!

Bonne chance to all.

Posted by
1121 posts

None of what is going on would prevent me from a trip to Paris. As Mystique said, it happens often. A few months ago, we watched protests over some political issue, and at other times there was always something going on. Just walk the opposite direction as mentioned, if you are uncomfortable. But none of this would deter us from returning again and again.

Posted by
14208 posts

As pointed out above, none of these current political events and minor inconveniences would deter me from being in Paris and France now, except for the weather. March and April are a bit too early , much rather prefer the summer. I don't expect the summer will see a cessation of strikes and demonstrations...just maybe.