(PARIS) France’s most famous monument has been closed for the third day in a row. The Eiffel Tower will likely remain inaccessible until Thursday, but a renewable energy strike launched on Monday by two unions representing employees appears to have stalled.

“There is no chance that the block will be lifted overnight (Tuesday to Wednesday),” CGT trade union representative Stéphane Dieu, who represents the majority of CGT’s approximately 360 employees, told AFP on Tuesday afternoon. Told. Eiffel Tower (set).

Sete’s management “refuses to negotiate” and its super-large shareholder, the City of Paris, “refuses even to accept us”, he said, assuring Mr. Dieu on Tuesday morning to explain why negotiations ended. did.

In the midst of the school winter holidays, five months before the Olympic Games (July 26th to August 11th), a conflict between the two trade unions CGT and FO and the municipality begins in Sete. It is intended as an economic model and is currently being rewritten. Through amendments to the Public Service Delegation Agreement, which will last until 2030.

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The amendment must be approved by the Paris Council in May. But “if the owners[City Hall]impose an unsustainable model, they will show their disapproval in July, during the Olympics,” warned Stéphane Dieu.

Both unions have already gone on strike, leading to the closure of the Iron Lady on December 27, the 100th anniversary of Gustave Eiffel’s disappearance.

the price in question

They criticized City Hall for “pursuing short-term profitability at all costs” and said that “in terms of financial requirements to ensure the sustainability of the monument and the company that manages it” “It’s reasonable.”

The Eiffel Tower’s economic balance returned to a higher pre-COVID-19 attendance figure in 2023 with 6.3 million visitors, but was worsened by a shortfall of around 120 million euros. Won during two years of health crisis (2020 and 2021). ).

To address this, Sete carried out a €60 million recapitalization in 2021. However, the reduction in revenue was supplemented by an equivalent additional charge of approximately EUR 130 million, primarily as additional costs for refurbishment works related to the current paint campaign. This is due to the discovery of traces of lead.

CGT said the current contract was biased by “an overestimation of revenue based on an annual attendance target of 7.4 million”, meaning “an attendance number that has never been reached before”. .

Returning to the equation, the moderating variables are the fee Sethe pays to City Hall, the price of the entry, and the budget for the work.

There has been no opposition to the planned option to increase prices by 20%. However, interpretations differ regarding the development of fees and the scope of work.

The CGT estimates that the city is asking for a “drastic increase in fees from €8 million to €50 million per year” in the proposed amendments, which, according to Stéphane Dieu, is “40% of the amount. “This would impose an excess tension model.” “Gross profit goes directly into royalties.”

However, management claims that the amendments have resulted in lower rates compared to the original contract.

Regarding the work carried out, the trade union was concerned that there were “a number of corrosion points and alarming signs of deterioration of the 135-year-old monument” and that “100 million euros will be invested in a partial painting campaign”. “Despite this, only 3% was obtained,” he regrets. Monuments were stripped away. ”

The union, which is demanding the creation of a “special endowment fund” for future projects, also accuses the City of Sete and City Hall of postponing the modernization of elevators and flashing equipment.

The closure of Paris and the symbol of France has caused dissatisfaction among thousands of tourists, mainly foreigners (about 80% according to 2023 statistics).

These will be automatically refunded, Sete assured AFP.

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