Emergency Food Supply

Paris in Crisis: Piles of Trash Clog the Streets as Strike Over Pension Reform Continues

Paris has been suffering from piles of rubbish and waste on its streets as thousands of tonnes of it lay abandoned for over a week. The trash is the result of a strike by waste collectors in protest of the French government's plans to raise the retirement age to 64 and increase contributions for a full pension.[0] As of Monday, March 18th, over 5,600 tons of rubbish had accumulated on the streets of the French capital, with the smell of the garbage spreading across the city.

The strike was started by municipal garbage collectors, who are guaranteed a generous state-paid pension at 62, and has been going on since last week.[1] It has been extended to Monday, March 20th, with the strike now also involving workers at the three incinerators that dispose of Paris's garbage, as well as cleaners.[2]

The effects of the waste are unequal across the 20 arrondissements in Paris, as some districts are serviced by private waste management companies while others are managed by municipal authorities.[3] In locations where waste management is handled by private corporations, rubbish disposal has been functioning relatively smoothly.[3] In the other districts, mountains of refuse are obstructing subway entrances and heaps of litter are scattered across the pavements.[3]

The huge amount of trash has caused health risks for refuse collectors and the general population. Rats can be seen rummaging in the bins and leaving their urine and droppings. Tourists visiting the city have also been affected, as the overflowing bins have blocked sidewalks.[4]

The strike has also been met with strong opposition from President Emmanuel Macron, who argues that the pension reform is vital to keep the country's retirement system solvent.[5] Polls show more than two-thirds of French citizens oppose the pension reform, and it is still uncertain if the necessary votes will be delivered in the Senate and National Assembly.[1]

The situation has prompted a reaction from American tourist Daniel Gore, who stated: “This time we obviously noticed a difference — that there’s trash piled up — but we also know why and we understand.”[6]

The crisis in Paris is part of a larger struggle that is taking place all over France, with cities like Rennes, Le Havre and Nantes also affected.[7] It is yet to be seen how the situation will unfold, and if the government will be able to pass the pension reform bill. Until then, the streets of Paris will remain covered in piles of uncollected waste.

0. “Paris police assault garbage workers striking against Macron's cuts” WSWS, 18 Mar. 2023, https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2023/03/18/uxbd-m18.html

1. “Is the Future of America Related to Paris Garbage?” Econlib, 18 Mar. 2023, https://www.econlib.org/is-the-future-of-america-related-to-paris-garbage/

2. “Paris is stinking” The Spectator, 15 Mar. 2023, https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/paris-is-stinking/

3. “The City of Light is momentarily the City of Trash” News-Decoder, 17 Mar. 2023, https://news-decoder.com/the-city-of-lights-is-momentarily-the-city-of-trash/

4. “The Eiffel Tower, l'Arc de Triomphe … the pile of garbage? Tourists in Paris stunned” CBC.ca, 16 Mar. 2023, https://www.cbc.ca/player/play/2182715459643

5. “City of Light or City of Litter: Paris Reeling From Pension Reform Strikes” Voice of America – VOA News, 15 Mar. 2023, https://www.voanews.com/a/city-of-light-or-city-of-litter-/7006499.html

6. “Why Now Is Not The Best Time To Visit Paris” Travel Off Path, 15 Mar. 2023, https://www.traveloffpath.com/why-now-is-not-the-best-time-to-visit-paris/

7. “Watch: Tons Of Garbage Pile Up In Paris As Pension Strike Continues, Rat Invasion Feared” NDTV.com, 15 Mar. 2023, https://www.ndtv.com/world-news/watch-garbage-piles-up-in-paris-as-pension-strike-continues-people-fear-rat-invasion-3861874

My Patriot Supply
Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 0 comments