Paris Olympics 2024: Locals ask if they're worth the trouble
Baku, December 2, AZERTAC
Are Parisians falling out of love with their own Olympic Games? That conclusion might seem inescapable after a series of bad news stories over the last couple of weeks, according to Yahoo Finance.
First the city's own Mayor Anne Hidalgo said out of the blue that transport for next summer's Games would "not be ready in time".
Then it was announced that far from buses and metros being free for competition ticket-holders - as promised in the Paris bid for the Games - fares will actually double for the six weeks of the Olympics and Paralympics.
The police chief revealed that his security plan comprises no less than four separate exclusion zones around each Olympic venue - prompting the head of the hoteliers' union to say it was "so complicated I get a headache just looking at it".
And an Odoxa opinion poll showed that nearly one in two Françiliens - inhabitants of the Paris region - now thought the Games were a "bad thing". The 44% negative rating was double what it was in 2021.
The same poll found that 52% of Françiliens were considering leaving Paris for the duration of the Games. "Perceptions about the Games are reaching alert level," Odoxa reported.
And that's not even counting the row with 230 quayside booksellers or bouquinistes - self-proclaimed guardians of historic Paris - who are resisting attempts to dismantle their boxes for the 26 July opening ceremony.
Certainly it is not hard these days to find Parisians quite happy to curse the Games and all that comes with them.
"On the morning of June 9 I'm voting in the European elections then I'm out of here till September," says Evelyne, 65, encountered by the Place de la Concorde (scene of several events including break-dancing, or as the French felicitously put it, le breaking).
"Paris will be unbearable," she adds. "Impossible to park; impossible to move around; impossible to do anything. Madame Hidalgo has wrecked Paris, and I want no part of the Games."