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Protests tie up travel in France

You know things aren’t going well in Paris when the Eiffel Tower shuts down, and it wasn’t just the nation’s most famous monument that disappointed visitors to France yesterday. Travel across the country was disrupted as protestors shouted “Non!” to the government’s proposal to reform employment law and make it easier to fire young workers.

According to a USA Today report, about a third of all flights and 60 percent of regular train service was cancelled due to the unrest. Public transport was hampered in 70 percent of France’s cities, though Paris’ subway system operated at 70 percent of its normal capacity.

Depending on whom you believe (the police or the protestors), between one and three million people took to the streets. Either way, the protests clearly had an impact on travel, and still have the potential to make life difficult for anyone trying to move around the country. It’s also worth noting the U.S. State Department is urging Americans in France to “avoid areas where crowds are expected to gather.”

At this point it’s difficult to say whether or not the demonstrations will continue, and if they do, how that will affect travel. However, it’s always worthwhile to take State Department warnings seriously, and equally wise to contact your travel provider for changes to any upcoming France itineraries you may have.

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