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Eiffel tower in Paris ready to welcome visitors again after six-day strike

Eiffel tower in Paris ready to welcome visitors again after six-day strike

Eiffel tower in Paris ready to welcome visitors again after six-day strike

Eiffel tower in Paris ready to welcome visitors again after six-day strike

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  • The strike began on Monday over the management of the tower.
  • The strike is the second at the iconic landmark in the last three months.
  • Both parties agreed to invest approximately €380m (£325m) towards the works and maintenance of the landmark until 2031.
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Following six days of closure due to strikes, authorities anticipate reopening the Eiffel Tower in Paris to visitors on Sunday. Workers initiated the walkout on Monday in a dispute over the management of the tower. The operator of the Eiffel Tower, Société d’Exploitation de la Tour Eiffel (SETE), announced on Saturday that it had reached a deal with unions.  This marks the second strike at the iconic landmark in the last three months, as Paris prepares to host the 2024 Olympic Games this summer.

SETE apologized to ticket holders and announced that they would reimburse bookings affected by the action, resulting in the loss of approximately 100,000 admissions.

The powerful Confédération Générale du Travail (CGT) union stated that staff had chosen to strike over SETE’s business model, which it alleged relied on an inflated estimate of future visitor numbers and an underestimation of the cost of maintenance and renovation.

Stéphane Dieu, speaking on behalf of the union, accused SETE of pursuing short-term profitability.

Strikers have also voiced concern over the state of the monument, which Le Monde reported had not been repainted for 14 years, twice the usual interval of seven years, with other repair work falling behind schedule.

Initially planned for five days, the strike this week was extended to Saturday after the CGT announced on Friday that staff had voted against SETE’s initial proposal.

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On Saturday, SETE announced that it had reached an agreement with the unions. According to the agreement, both parties will regularly monitor the company’s business model, investment in works, and revenue through a body that will convene every six months.

With the aim of balancing its books by 2025, SETE stated that both sides also agreed to invest approximately €380m (£325m) towards the works and maintenance of the landmark until 2031.

On Thursday, French Culture Minister Rachida Dati proposed classifying the Eiffel Tower as a “historical monument” to enable the state to assist in funding necessary works.

The Eiffel Tower last closed on 27 December as workers staged a protest – once again over its management – to commemorate the centenary of the death of the tower’s creator, Gustave Eiffel.

Eiffel, a civil engineer, gained renown for constructing bridges and viaducts for the French railway network. However, he is most renowned for the tower, which he designed to showcase France’s modern industrial prowess on a global stage as the centerpiece of the 1889 Paris Exposition, or World’s Fair.

Constructed in just over two years, it was the tallest building in the world at the time and swiftly became an iconic symbol of the French capital.

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