Heaps of rubbish obscure the sights of Paris, and its scent spreads through the city of lights

Heaps of rubbish obscure the sights of Paris, and its scent spreads through the city of lights

Instead of Paris visitors taking selfies in front of the Eiffel Tower, it is the nearby mountain of waste that attracts the lenses of their phones, as piles of rubbish have spread near the famous monuments in the French capital due to a strike to collect it in Protest against the pension reform project. Part of the scene in the most tourist-attracting city in the world.

And there are no signs, in fact, of any improvement in this situation, as the cleaners and waste collectors of the municipality of Paris voted on Tuesday morning to continue their strike until at least March 20. In the evening, Minister of the Interior

Gerald Darmanin issued instructions to Paris Police Chief Laurent Nunez to ask the municipality to bring means to remove waste due to the "sanitary conditions" resulting from its accumulation.

According to the interior minister, "the state will take over the matter" if the municipality does not respond to the request, meaning that the state itself will provide the means to collect and remove waste.

The piles of waste that have gathered, for example, on the banks of the Seine River, which extends near Notre Dame Cathedral, obscure the vision of the architectural masterpiece that was built between the twelfth and fourteenth centuries in the heart of the French capital.

Those who wish to get to know the church, parts of which were destroyed by a major fire in 2019, must only turn a blind eye to the waste and act as if it did not exist.

As for visitors wishing to contemplate the Eiffel Tower from Trocadero Square, they will walk out of the subway along a wall emerging from black plastic waste bags. Thrown boxes, leftovers of spoiled food and all kinds of rubbish filled the romantic alleys in the center of the capital.

"I have never seen such a scene in Canada," Canadian O´Meara said, after taking a picture of a pile of waste in Saint-Michel, in the Latin Quarter, expecting that this would "alienate tourists who will leave and not return." !”

As for Martin Ruiz (18 years), who comes from the US state of Texas, he regretted the "smell" emanating from the waste, describing it as "disgusting." And he was supported by the Angeles Mosqueda, who was forbidden by the garbage hills to see the Paris Opera, as the Mexican tourist expressed her annoyance at what she smelled here and there throughout the city, which is famous for its perfumes.

German Claudia Harmand did not expect that she and her French lover would have to go through a "slalom race among the waste" during her visit to Paris, considering that the matter "somewhat spoils the charm" of the city of lights, which is the most attractive to tourists in the world, with a number of 34.5 million. 2022 according to the authorities.

Paris is living under widespread social anger sparked by a project by President Emmanuel Macron´s government that provides for raising the legal retirement age from 62 to 64 years.

For two months, the unions have been organizing several movements on a national scale to push the executive authority back down, including mass demonstrations with the participation of millions, and strikes in schools and the oil, electricity, transportation and other sectors.
In this context, municipal garbage collection workers in Paris have been on strike for more than a week. One of them, Nabil Latraish (44 years old), said, "We work in rain and snow and when the weather is windy," describing his and his colleagues´ profession as "hard" and adding, "When we are standing in the back of a garbage truck, we breathe volatile fumes, and we get a lot of sickness." Occupational diseases.

As for Muriel Geremink (56 years), who has been working in the field of garbage collection for two decades, she confirmed that she realizes that she will live "poor", as her pension does not exceed 1,200 euros at most, which is less than the current wage minimum, which is therefore insufficient to imagine a comfortable future. .

Their fellow employees of private companies operating in the rest of the capital are facing the problem of closing incineration sites, and this has subsequently led to the accumulation of more than seven thousand tons of waste on Tuesday, according to the municipality, a volume that is increasing day by day.

The result was that thousands of tourists who were in Paris and trying to make up for some of what they missed during the pandemic phase, found themselves against their will in the midst of a heated dispute over a social issue. "The strikes will not change anything," said the American tourist, Mark, while pulling a stroller. "If going (to retirement) should be delayed, then so be it."

As for the British Olivia Stephenson, she has another opinion on the matter, as she is "with strikes everywhere", in France as well as in England, where they have "abounded" in recent times. And seeing that the waste in Paris "spoils the view and smell," she stressed that "issues of retirement and salaries are important to many people."

The head of the Paris Tourism and Convention Authority, Jean-Francois Real, acknowledged that "the capital is not in its best condition for foreign visitors," but he recalled that "a two-week waste collection waste collection in Naples did not harm the image" of the Italian city. He firmly concluded that what is happening now will not leave "any impact" on the tourism movement in Paris.