If the European Parliament no longer met in Strasbourg, there would clearly be an impact on the people who live here.
Responding in on-the-street interviews, here were some of the responses:
“Losing it would be impossible, unthinkable. You can ask any Strasbourgois and he’ll say the same.”
“We have several institutions, the European Court and the Council of Europe; they’re our heritage.”
“Economically speaking, it is important to keep the European Parliament.”
The city has around 150 hotels, but these days they have trouble accommodating everyone when the MEPs are in town, though more hotels are being built. Restaurants and taxis also do a thriving trade when the house meets.
Hotelier Marc Fuller said: “I don’t know that prices flare up especially in the week the parliament is in session. If there’s any abuse, nothing’s stopping customers going to other hotels that don’t raise rates. I think that’s a weak argument to throw in for the European Parliament reckoning.”
When the hemicycle ceiling was being fixed in 2008 and two regularly scheduled monthly sessions were moved to Brussels, it put a 20 percent hole in the earnings of Strasbourg’s hotel sector alone.