French Strikes Bring Chaos to the Capital

National Strikes Affect Major Tourist Landmarks

Visitors to the French capital found themselves shut out of many of the city’s best loved attractions followed a national strike protesting President Nicolas Sarkozy’s revamp of the pension system. Many of the most important landmarks in Paris were closed this week including the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe and the Musee d’Orsay. The Notre Dame Towers were also closed until 1pm yesterday leaving many tourists disappointed, one visitor stated that “I knew there was a strike, but I assumed that these were important museums for French tourism and those they would be open”. Other attractions that affected by the industrial action include the Versailles Palace and the Paris Opera that had to cancel a performance of ‘Il Trittico’ due to the strikes.

It is not just the main sightseeing spots that are affected by the national strike, tourists were also left to contend with disrupted public transport services including delays on the metro, trains and airplanes. It is reported that the strike is set to continue for another day as ‘Labor’ unions enter into another day of talks with Sarkozy before voting later today on whether to continue the walkout for another 24 hours. The national railway system will remain disrupted for at least another day as its operators have already voted on another day of action. Half of today’s flights to and from Paris Orly Airport and Charles de Galle have been cancelled or delayed, budget airline Ryanair has reported that 250 of their French flights will not be going ahead. Those travelling to Paris in the next few days are advised to keep track of the latest news regarding the strikes before attempting to travel.

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