Paris police plan street clean-up ahead of Olympic Games

Paris Copyright Pavel Golovkin/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved
By Euronews with agencies
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Police plans to clean-up the streets of Paris ahead of the 2024 Olympic Games which will take place in the French capital.


Paris is pressing ahead with plans to stop people selling things on the streets in time for the 2024 Olympics which are to be held in the city.

The Prefect of Police for Paris, Laurent Nuñez, has promised an end to street vending before the start of the games.

"We will, of course, have completely eradicated the phenomenon of street vending, fortune-telling and other delinquent activities," he said.

He also said that from May next year, there will be even greater police reinforcements in the French capital.

“Police numbers in the capital and the Paris suburbs will be tripled, if only for security and crime-fighting purposes,” he said, adding that the city would be “saturated with police officers”.

Bouquinistes removal

In addition to cleaning up the streets, the police also plan to remove Paris’ famous book stalls dotted along the Seine River for the duration of the Olympics for security reasons.

They say there is a risk of a bomb being hidden in one of the structures, or an accident when hundreds of thousands of spectators gather on the quays to watch the opening ceremony which will take place along the river.

But the bouquinistes, as the booksellers are known, are angry at plans to move the distinctive green boxes. They say they are not sure that the sometimes ancient structures will survive a move.

"You can be sure that when this is lifted, even if the box is closed, the sides will break. A wooden element that hasn't moved for so many years, the day you move it it's going to fall,” said one of them, Gilles Morineaux.

The sale of books along the Seine has been a tradition since the 16th century, and has become an integral part of the cultural landscape.

While the city has promised they will be reassembled quickly at the end of the games, the booksellers are convinced there is no reason to move their stalls.

They have suggested that their boxes are inspected by the bomb squad ahead of the opening ceremony, and then placed under seal.

Negotiations are continuing.

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