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Paris transport ‘will not be ready’ for Olympics: Mayor Anne Hidalgo

IFM_Mayor Anne Hidalgo
With the event just a year away, the transport infrastructure in Paris is already under immense pressure, with complaints of overcrowding and poor frequency

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo has announced that the transport system in the city won’t be ready for the 2024 Olympic Games, triggering backlash from political opponents.

With the event just a year away, the transport infrastructure in Paris is already under immense pressure, with complaints of overcrowding, poor frequency, and uncleanliness from commuters and tourists alike.

During her appearance on the Quotidien talk show on TMC TV, Anne Hidalgo stated that while the Games infrastructure will be complete, there are two areas that will not be ready – transport and homelessness.

She said, “We still have problems with daily transport issues and we are still not reaching the comfort and punctuality needed for Parisians. There are places where the transport will not be ready and there will not be enough trains.”

The Socialist mayor has faced criticism from political opponents for extending an official trip to a French Pacific territory into a two-week private vacation.

Her actions have been dubbed “Tahitigate” by critics, who accuse her of trying to conceal her absence by posting old pictures of herself on social media, including a video of her cycling in Paris.

Despite denying any wrongdoing, the mayor has come under increased pressure as some accuse her of neglecting her duties by not attending key committee meetings.

Transport Minister Clement Beaune, an ally of President Emmanuel Macron, has specifically called out her absence from meetings related to transport infrastructure.

On X, he wrote, “Mrs Hidalgo is not there, does not participate in work meetings but has an opinion for others. What respect she has for our public officials and for Parisians!”

Valerie Pecresse, the head of the Ile-de-France region that encompasses Paris, expressed her gratitude to transport staff for their efforts, stating “We will be ready.”

She also added that this preparation is an immense collective work which should not be tarnished by an absent mayor.

Regarding the homelessness situation in Paris, Mayor Anne Hidalgo stated that she sees the Olympics as an opportunity to find a long-term solution to the issue of people sleeping on the streets and inside metro stations in the city.

“Everyone agrees on the need to make progress. We must make progress but we are not quite there,” she noted.

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