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Will Paris bouquinistes stay during Olympics

PARIS: The famous booksellers that line the Seine in Paris say they are standing their ground over plans to shut them down during the opening ceremony of next year’s Olympic Games as a matter of survival.

Paris authorities told the “bouquinistes” earlier this summer that some 570 of their 900 stalls would have to move ahead of the opening ceremony on July 26, 2024 due to “a risk of acts of terrorism”.

Already struggling to bounce back from shutdowns during the pandemic and a longer-run loss of interest from locals, the booksellers are refusing to miss out on the 16 million tourists expected for the Games.

“I have neighbours who, if they don’t sell one day, simply don’t eat,” said Alexia Delrieu, 50, who has run her stall by the Tournelle Bridge for more than a decade.

“The good times were 20 years ago or more, before the internet. Now, you have to really work to make minimum wage,” added Guido Cuccolo, 71, based on the Quai de Conti.


M M Alam

M. M. Alam is a Pakistan-based working journalist since 1981. Karachi University faculty gold medalist Alam began his career four decades ago by writing for Dawn, Pakistan’s highest circulating English daily. He has worked for region’s leading publications, global aviation periodicals including Rotors (of USA) and vetted New York Times as permanent employee of daily Express Tribune. Alam regularly covers international aviation and defense-related events including Salon Du Bourget (France), Farnborough (United Kingdom), Dubai (UAE). Alam has reported thousands of events and interviewed hundreds of people in Pakistan, UAE, EU, UK and USA. Being Francophone Alam also coordinates with a number of French publications.