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Carnival workers block Paris plaza to save giant Ferris wheel

Published 24/11/2016

Fair workers block a central Paris interchange in protest at government orders to remove a giant Ferris wheel (AP)
Fair workers block a central Paris interchange in protest at government orders to remove a giant Ferris wheel (AP)

Carnival workers have claimed victory after blocking a central Paris interchange in protest over government orders to remove a giant Ferris wheel offering spectacular views of the city.

About 100 workers parked dozens of large trucks on the Place de la Concorde beneath the Roue de Paris amusement park ride.

The surprise demonstration blocked traffic through a crowded intersection between the Champs-Elysees and the Tuileries Gardens.

The protest appeared to have worked: Within a couple of hours, wheel owner Marcel Campion told reporters that he had received a letter from the culture ministry allowing the ride to stay open.

Police peacefully cleared the demonstrators, and tourists lined up to board the ride.

The culture ministry had reportedly ordered Mr Campion to remove the wheel for administrative and cultural preservation reasons.

Carnival workers' unions rallied around his cause, complaining of discrimination against their mass-market rides in one of Paris' most historical neighbourhoods.

"I've been here with my giant wheel for 23 years, every year. And suddenly it's as if the state just found out I am here," Mr Campion said. He did not explain details of how the dispute was settled.

AP

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