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OLYMPICS

Paris mayor warns over ‘risk’ of Olympics partnership with Airbnb

The mayor of Paris warned the head of the International Olympic Committee about the "risks" of its partnership deal with the home rental platform Airbnb, in a letter sent last week and seen by AFP on Monday.

Paris mayor warns over 'risk' of Olympics partnership with Airbnb
Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo with IOC chairman Thomas Bach, centre. Photo: AFP

Anne Hidalgo, a Socialist who is up for re-election next year, vowed in the letter sent Friday to IOC chief Thomas Bach her “total determination” to tighten rules on tourist rentals in the French capital, which is one of Airbnb's biggest markets and will host the 2024 summer Olympics.

Paris has 65,000 Airbnb listings alone, sparking charges by city officials that the company is pushing up rents by encouraging people to favour the tourist market over residents.

READ ALSO Paris mayor declares new war on Airbnb to stop city turning into ' museum'

The French capital has been locked in several legal battles with the US giant, and in February demanded it pay €12.5 million in fines for allowing owners to rent properties without registering with the city.

In her letter, Hidalgo said she could outlaw short-term tourist rentals in some parts of the city altogether if tighter restrictions are not put in place at the national level.

“By removing a significant number of lodgings from Paris, Airbnb contributes to rising rents and worsens the shortage of apartments on the rental market, at a cost for all Parisians, in particular the middle class,” Hidalgo wrote.

She also accused the platform of “destabilising local businesses and competing harshly with traditional hotels.”

Hidalgo's deputy mayor in charge of housing, Ian Brossat, told AFP on Monday that he regretted the IOC's choice of partner “at a time when many cities in Europe and the world are fighting back against Airbnb.”

Member comments

  1. I would strongly suggest that the Mayor of Paris have experts in the French Government “follow the money.” I will just BET that airB&B “contributed” vast sums to the IOC as a “quid pro quo” (to quote a Trumpian term) for this destructive and bogus “partnership.”

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TRAVEL

Striking workers block Paris airport terminal, flights delayed

Striking airport workers have blocked part Paris’s Charles de Gaulle airport, with some flights already delayed by at least one hour.

Striking workers block Paris airport terminal, flights delayed
Striking airport workers outside Charles-de-Gaulle airport in Paris. Photo: Geoffroy van der Hasselt | AFP

Last month, trade unions representing workers at the Aéroports de Paris (ADP) – the city’s Charles-de-Gaulle-Roissy and Orly airports – called for a strike between July 1st and July 5th in an ongoing dispute between French airport workers and bosses over contract renegotiations.

A second wave of protests are expected next week, after a strike notice was filed for July 9th.

Tensions mounted on Friday morning as some 400 protesters staged a raucous demonstration at CDG’s terminal 2E, which mostly deals with flights outside the Schengen zone, as police officers looked on.

At Orly airport, meanwhile, some 250 people demonstrated “outside”, while a small group was inside.

The dispute is over a long-term plan by ADP to bring in new work contracts for employees at the airports, which unions say will lower pay, job losses and a reduction in rights and bonuses for employees.

The strike is being jointly called by the CGT, CFE-CGE, Unsa, CFDT and FO unions, who said in a joint press release that the proposals will “definitively remove more than a month’s salary from all employees and force them to accept geographical mobility that will generate additional commuting time”.

Unions say that staff face dismissal if they do not sign the new contracts.

ADP said on Wednesday that it expected ‘slight delays for some flights but no cancellations’ to services – but it urged travellers to follow its social media operations for real-time updates.

On Thursday, the first day of action, 30 percent of flights were delayed between 15 minutes and half-an-hour.

ADP’s CEO Augustin de Romanet had said on Tuesday that ‘everything would be done to ensure no flight is cancelled’. 

ADP reported a loss of €1.17 billion in 2020. 

Stressing that discussions are continuing over the proposed new contracts, the CEO called for “an effort of solidarity, with a red line: no forced layoffs.”

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