By Alison Fox
December 18, 2019
Advertisement

The Eiffel Tower was closed on Tuesday for the second time in a month amid ongoing strikes in France.

The nationwide strikes, which started earlier this month, continue as workers fight for their pensions. On Tuesday, The Associated Press reported that Eiffel Tower staff walked off the job and Paris opera workers gathered on the famous building’s steps to sing an aria expressing their anger and frustration.

The government has said it plans to raise the retirement age to 64, and President Emmanuel Macron — who has said previously that the pension system is unfair — has not budged on the policy

When the protests started, tourist sites like the Eiffel Tower, the Musée d'Orsay and the Palace of Versailles temporarily closed, and transportation in the European nation was paralyzed.

Getty Images

Now, the AP reported workers joined the strikes in even higher numbers than last week.

"Hospital workers in scrubs, Air France staff in uniforms, lawyers wearing long black robes — people from across the French workforce joined in the strikes and protests in higher numbers than the last cross-sector walkout last week," The AP described.

In total on Tuesday, about 615,000 people participated in more than 100 protests across the country, The Guardian reported. In Paris, police arrested 30 people.

“It’s very frustrating for us, unfortunately,” a tourist from South Africa, told the AP when he tried to visit the Eiffel Tower. “We had decided to be here for one day and that’s life I suppose.”

Another tourist, however, tried to look on the bright side of things, telling the news service that though the famed attraction may be closed, “It’s like an excuse to come here another year.”

While it is understandably disappointing to visit Paris only to find out some things on your bucket list are unexpectedly closed, the good news is there is plenty to do in the charming city by just going for a stroll or whiling away the hours at a sidewalk cafe.