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Le Monde
Le Monde
24 Feb 2024

Images Le

France's Eiffel Tower which had been closed for five days by a strike will reopen on Sunday, February 25, after the monument's management announced a deal had been struck with unions. The stoppage since Monday at one of the world's best-known tourist sites was the second within two months in protest at what unions say was insufficient investment.

The tower's operator SETE said it had reached an agreement with the unions on Saturday "under which the parties will regularly monitor the company's business model, investment in works and revenue through a body that will meet every six months".

With an aim to balance its books by 2025, both sides also agreed to see an investment of some €380 million up to 2031 toward works and maintenance of the tower, the statement said.

SETE extended apologies to visitors caught in the strike action, which resulted in the loss of some 100,000 admissions. The Eiffel Tower booked a shortfall of around €120 million during the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 and 2021. SETE has since received a recapitalization of €60 million, which unions say is insufficient given that major maintenance work is needed, including a fresh paint job.

Visitor numbers dropped sharply during Covid due to closures and travel restrictions but recovered to 5.9 million in 2022 and 6.3 million last year. The masterpiece by architect Gustave Eiffel has been repainted 19 times since it was built for the 1889 World Fair.

Le Monde with AFP