CHARLOTTE, NC, November 13, 2017 – If you have never experienced the Paris Christmas Markets of Europe, you have missed one of travel’s greatest gifts as well as the pure joy of the holiday season as it used to be.
This year, however, thanks in large part to multiple terrorist attacks over the past few years in Paris, the Christmas Market along the Champs-Élysées is no more.
Paris Christmas Market appeasement wins again out of fear of jihad.
Currently, there is an on-going debate between local authorities and the “king of fairground” Marcel Campion over the suppression of the Christmas Market on the Champs-Élysées. The result has been threats of “blockages” in Paris.
As the controversy grows, the positions on both sides appear to be hardening.
The debate between unions and the Mayor of Paris, Anne (Ana) Hidalgo, and City Hall councilors, prohibit the market which regularly opens November 6. The fate of the Paris Christmas Market has been a source of intense discussion since early last summer.
The market, which annually attracts approximately 15-million visitors, is regarded as the city’s main Christmas Market each year though it has only been in existence since 2008. According to Campion, the Christmas Market on the Champs-Élysées brings in 240 traders and provides more than 2,000 jobs.
The future of the Paris Christmas Market celebration
This year, however, a City Hall spokesperson said, Paris “wants to focus on offering visitors and Parisians more attractive and innovative events that will enhance the Champs-Élysées in a cultural and aesthetic dimension in keeping with this exceptional site.”
In reality, that seems to be a lot of double-talk amounting to nothing more than capitulation to the wishes of the Islamic community of Paris.
Marcel Campion has been organizing the Champs-Élysées event since 2008, but he was terminated earlier this year. Deputy Mayor, Jean-Francois Martins, the head of tourism at City Hall claims the “market wasn’t good enough for Paris.”
Campion refutes the claim that the market’s goods were of poor quality and low standards. Campion says, “We have a six-year contract with the city” that the city is calling into question after only two years.”
Paris Christmas Market takes a back seat to Ramadan
Opponents of the shutdown offer the argument that Paris, which arranges special Ramadan parties each year, should easily be able to organize a Christmas Market as well.
The move to cancel the Paris Christmas Market on the Champs-Élyséesbappears to be yet another step in the direction of Paris losing more of its cultural identity.
Paris is a world-class international destination filled with tourists regardless of the time of year. That said, 15-million visitors during a 6-week run-up to Christmas does not compute with the explanation that its products are of inferior standards.
Paris is today a city that offers Muslim street prayers on a daily basis. As such, it is also a metropolis catering to the cultural desires of outsiders who have done nothing to assimilate into French mores.
The Paris wheel opened this year on November 11
Meanwhile, Campion does have some business baggage of his own. Campion was indicted last May for misuse of corporate assets while managing the company that operates the Ferris Wheel at Place de la Concorde. J
ean-Paul Belmondo and Alain Delon were on hand for the inauguration of the Wheel.
Fairground faithful remain hopeful that they can work with the city, but, for now at least, the Champs- Élysées will not have its Christmas Market this year.
Fortunately for travelers, Christmas Markets abound throughout Europe. Take time to visit several if you can. Nothing will put you in the Christmas spirit more than a cold, damp evening with a cup of hot chocolate or a steaming glass of spicy mulled wine.
About the Author: Bob Taylor is a veteran writer who has traveled throughout the world. Taylor award-winning television producer/reporter/anchor before focusing on writing about international events, people and cultures around the globe.
Taylor is founder of The Magellan Travel Club (www.MagellanTravelClub.com)
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