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Last Updated: Saturday, 12 March, 2005, 16:10 GMT
Will Paris strike help London Olympic bid?
French Sport minister Jean-Francois Lamour  and other officials
Paris has been brought to a standstill by a one-day national strike as the International Olympic Committee examines the city's bid to host the 2012 Games.

The protest against government economic reforms has brought much of the public transport system to a halt, while tens of thousands of protesters are due to stage rallies.

The IOC's inspectors have already visited Madrid, London and New York and will head to Moscow next week.

Will France's general strike affect the chances of Paris hosting the 2012 Olympic Games? Could London's bid benefit from the dispute? Who do you think will get the 2012 Olympics?

This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.


The following comments reflect the balance of opinion we have received so far:

Paris grinds to a complete halt during such strikes whereas us Brits tend to carry on the best we can as only we can
Jenny, UK

How can today's strike not have an impact on the Paris bid? Having lived in Paris, as well as London, I have a fair amount of strike experience in both cities. Paris grinds to a complete halt during such strikes whereas us Brits tend to carry on the best we can as only we can.
Jenny, UK

The last thing I want to be taxed for is the so-called Olympic bid. This is a thinly-disguised attempt to wrest money from the National Lottery and the London rate payer to regenerate an area that should be provided for from central government funds. Like many Londoners, I want nothing to do with it.
Karl, London

What a bunch of miseries we Brits are! If London wins the bid, billions of pound will be spent on improving London's transport system and redeveloping some of the most deprived areas of the city. The metro system in Paris is starting to look scruffy now. What will it look like in seven years? I think all Londoners should get behind our bid.
Tony, London

Good for the people of France. We could learn some lessons here. When the government does something to upset the people of France, they bite back.
Dave, UK

The Paris transport system is certainly no better or no worse that any other European public transport system... When there is a strike, the whole system is a... mess just like it would be elsewhere!
Nick, Paris, France

Paris has a far more reliable transport service even with strikes
Marie-Raphaelle, New York, NY
I've lived in the UK, France and grew up in NYC. The strikes will hardly have any effect on the outcome. Of the 3 cities, Paris has a far more reliable transport service even with strikes. I doubt that neither London nor my home city of New York can convincingly host the Olympics. I think Paris or Madrid should get it.
Marie-Raphaelle, New York, NY

Every time I travel in Paris, or France for that matter, I have to adjust my schedule for a 90% chance of a strike. This is part of Paris, as late trains are part of Italy, or traffic jams are part of New York. The IOC's inspectors will notice that the transport system is very efficient and that's just a way of life in "Striking City".
David Cormier, Tokyo, Japan

I travel regularly on the tube in London and the metro in Paris and I'm still at a loss to explain why the Parisian transport system is (supposedly) so much better than in London. Certainly the newer parts of the tube system, like the Jubilee line to Canary Wharf, are better than anything that's in Paris and the strikes are far less frequent.
Nick, London, UK

Much of what France is today is because of its protests
Alex Steom, Minnetonka, Minnesota
This protest is what makes France, France. Much of what France is today is because of its protests. May of '68 is what showed us that this fifth republic is for real. As for the IOC, I don't believe that this will hinder Paris' bid to host the games, the French transport system is not only incredibly easy to use and efficient, but also a lovely addition to a beautiful city. Bon Chance Paris!
Alex Steom, Minnetonka, Minnesota

As a Frenchman living in London, it would be easy for me to say that public transport in Paris, even with a total strike, is more effective than in London. But the main reason why I want Paris to win their bid, is that I don't want the taxes that I pay in the UK to be wasted for such a short event, with little more to show for it afterwards than half a dozen millennium domes across the city.
Philippe, London, UK

Can't we all save a lot of money and have a joint Paris-London bid?
Steve, Brussels
With the two prime candidates only two hours apart and supposedly the two major cities of Europe, can't we all save a lot of money and have a joint Paris-London bid?
Steve, Brussels

It feels quite strange to see how many UK based people feel negatively about London's bid for the Olympics. Paris is a beautiful city, but so is London and the biggest weapon that British people have is their open, polite and cheerful character.
Dimitris, Athens, Greece

Using Democracy as an excuse to constantly strike is getting old. Only for this reason Paris does not deserve the Olympics. Unfortunately neither London nor Moscow are much of an option either, even without the strikes!
Erik, Bordeaux

I hope London wins it, but it will be our negativity not our transport that damages our chances
Jonathan, London, UK
London and Paris are both great cities. The difference seems to be that the British revel in criticising themselves and the French try to sweep their failings under the carpet. Neither of these viewpoints shows a reasoned grasp of reality. I hope London wins it, but it will be our negativity not our transport that damages our chances.
Jonathan, London, UK

Winning or loosing the bid of the Olympic Games is one issue. The problem is that the Unions continue to paralyze everything without caring about the impact on the economy. Getting the unions thinking more about the social progress is the bid that France has to win today.
Dr Athanasios Kontopoulos, Lesigny (Paris area), France

I think anyone who sees this as an opportunity to knock the opposition needs to wake up. None of the candidates are without downsides although, having visited all the cities involved, I would say that Madrid does it for me!
Andy D, Oxford UK

Let Paris have the games and then we can all sit and watch from the comfort of our own homes without paying a fortune
Alan Glenister, Bushey Herts
I would be very pleased to see the Olympics going to Paris; at least they acted in a very French way by striking when the IOC committee went on their rounds instead of putting on a show as in London. The Millennium Dome cost us taxpayers enough, we can't afford the white elephant that the Olympics will undoubtedly turn out to be. Only two Olympics have broken even - the poor Greeks are still paying for the Athens Olympics. Spend the money it would cost on improving the current infrastructure now. Let Paris have the games and then we can all sit and watch from the comfort of our own homes without paying a fortune!
Alan Glenister, Bushey Herts

The National strike in France does not surprise me. Obviously it will make a difference to any decisions, but not in the favour of England. We can't afford it, we won't be ready, and who's to say English workers won't go on strike? The Olympics are wonderful, but let's wait a while for our turn!
David, Nottingham, England

Living in the north of England it doesn't really matter to me whether London or Paris get the Olympics. Any funding for the games will have no effect on my part of the world. Give them to Paris and spend the cash on something worthwhile in Britain.
Leon, Brighouse, UK

It seems like the French are always striking about something or other. If they did get the 2012 Olympics, who's to say they won't strike during the games? They most likely will. For this reason I think Paris will lose their bid.
Catherine, Canada

As an ex-pat living in Paris I can tell you that the public transport is light years ahead of London, even when there is a strike. Also, it is interesting when you read the British press that London's chances of hosting the games are right up there with Paris. Do you realise that on the continent the view is that Madrid is favourite along with Paris, with London and New York joint third favourites?
Mark, Paris

I doubt the strike in France will affect the result
Andy, UK
I can't believe how many moaning Brits there are in this section!!! You are all talking about the London of today, not the London of 7 years in the future and if you all got behind the bid instead of moaning about the cost, then the London Olympics will be a roaring success. I doubt the strike in France will affect the result - hopefully the sterling job that Lord Coe and team have done will determine that!
Andy, UK

I live and travel between UK and France, and I can definitely tell you that the French Metro System is far more advanced, more efficient and cleaner than London's. It's a huge shame that this strike is going on now. However, as many said, there are often strikes going in Paris amongst governmental owned subsidies (EDF, Transport etc) but that never hinders the service they provide. I've even been in Paris whilst there were train strikes and the service was still excellent.
Vassilios, France/UK

Having lived in Paris a few years ago, I returned last weekend for a brief holiday. I had forgotten how smelly, dirty and threatening the Metro was. London transport may not be perfect, but as a commuter in our beautiful capital city I can at least see the city for its true worth unlike the composers of the comments who live elsewhere and who will use any opportunity to do a bit of "London bashing".
Nia, London

Beleaguered by British '70s-style industrial disputes, present-day France can only hope to get a handle on this one if it can show the world that, despite all, the Games will go ahead unimpeded. This, I think they can do. We in Britain, on the other hand, have to pray that a rogue snowflake or a stray autumn leaf doesn't stand between total success and ten thousand angry foreign visitors standing around on empty wind-swept railway platforms.
Patrick V. Staton, Guildford, UK

The French are always on strike, and the strikes are always at the worst time for the general public, such as transport strikes when people are going on summer holidays....so if the Games are here in 2012 then there will be certainly be strikes!
Sarah, France

The IOC was aware of this national strike in advance
P.K. Gaman, Paris, France
The one day national strike in France won't help the London Olympic bid. The UK transport system cannot be compared to the well organised transport facilities of France. In fact the IOC was aware of this national strike in advance.
P.K. Gaman, Paris, France

Paris is a beautiful and elegant city. London is a grimy morass. Why would a strike change this?
Paul O'Brien, Plymouth, England

London doesn't deserve to get the Games as they are incapable of running day to day transport. The East End will be chaotic for months whilst we pretend to upgrade the infrastructure, as well as costing a fortune in the process of creating another white Elephant " la Dome". Hope Paris gets it. They at least have got what it takes to make it a success, we don't.
Rhona Wells, London

The trades unions are demanding 'increased disposable income' for people and also refusing to let those people work longer hours. Great to see the French doing what they do best. Let's hope it scuppers the French Olympic bid and that London gets it. 2012 here we come!
Russell Long, Tunbridge Wells, UK

If a strike in France helps London then the IOC inspectors need replacing! Personally I think the French would do a fantastic job with the games, better than we could do here in miserable moaning London. I hope they win it!
Phil, Newcastle, UK

Even while on strike the Paris transport system is still more efficient than London's
Glenn J, UK
Could London benefit from this strike action? Hardly. After a call to a friend in Paris, it would appear that even while on strike the Paris transport system is still more efficient than London's.
Glenn J, UK

It seems obvious to me that action like this by the French can only favour the London bid. However, what would favour the bid even more would be some convincing representation from the UK government to show that they are actually prepared to pay for it. I don't get the feeling that the government really want to pay for it. I'm sure I'm not alone and that the IOC are also questioning the commitment of the government.
Mark Kaye, Macclesfield, UK

Not wanting to appear to gloat at another's misfortune, but I do hope so. It is a great spectacle and a great honour. I do not know why some small minded people here in Britain keep whinging about the cost. The Olympics are a "Cash Cow" as our American cousins would say. Why do you think they try and host it at every opportunity? For the fun of it?
William Cater, London

People from the Paris suburb usually tend to use their cars less on a strike day. Moreover, the demonstration will take place miles away from the visited sites. I think the IOC might come out of this field trip impressed by how easy it is to circulate on a day of strike in Paris!
Alexandre, Dijon, France

They knew the IOC was visiting today
John, France
The unions who control the state sector industries, i.e. transport, power etc, would have no hesitation in holding the Olympic Games to ransom. They knew the IOC was visiting today but that didn't stop them from holding a one day strike in their efforts to defend the indefensible, the 35 hour week.
John, France

I hope it does not affect the Paris bid, let them have it. Surely we have got more worthwhile things to spend taxpayers' money on.
Andrew, Staines, Middx

The French are famed all round the world for their ability to strike and I would have thought that the IOC would not be surprised with this latest one. As to helping London's bid - I doubt it. London has its own immense obstacles to overcome not least of which is its transport system or lack of one that struggles to cope now and you can't compare the rail system in the UK with that in France.
C. Preece, Tamworth, UK

I do hope not! Sorry I would prefer my taxes are spent on something that will have a longer lasting value to the country. I would back the bid if it wasn't going to cost so us much over so many years. Another Millennium Dome in the making?
Richard, Kent, England

I don't seriously think that London could benefit from it. Just look back at Athens: delays on all fronts and strike after strike. It could be possible that Paris will be the beneficial of all its current miseries instead of any other candidate city.
Mary McCannon, Budapest, Hungary

The IOC must already be aware of France's ability to strike at a moment's notice. In particular, air traffic control, train drivers and so on tend to do this several times during the tourist seasons. Unfortunately this demonstration at such a critical time can only reinforce this situation to the IOC.
Mo C, Durham, UK

They always seem to be on strike about something so yes it should help London.
John Cole, Manchester




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