The weather has played havoc with France and other EU countries this past week. Flights have been canceled, and people have found themselves camping in airports, hoping to travel during this holiday season.
France’s state meteorological agency has placed regions including the Ile-de-France around Paris on “Orange Alert,” the second-highest level on a four-tier scale of weather severity. Thierry Mariani, the country’s transportation minister, said measures to deal with the disruption at Charles de Gaulle, Europe’s second-busiest airport, have been inadequate. More than 200 passengers spent Christmas Eve at CDG. Now that the weather is finally cooperating, Paris airports were running low on antifreeze in order to de-ice planes. Flights now seem almost “back to normal.”
The Eurostar between France and London has been having more than its share of cancellations. As a result, many people aren’t going to be celebrating Christmas as usual. For those who love snow, well, they’ll be the ones who are in heaven.
Driving on many French highways has been a nightmare. Some people have simply abandoned their holiday plans and are hopefully staying warm at home as temperatures have plummeted.
Some people are receiving another type of gift:
Three hundred Haitian orphans have arrived in France in time to join their adoptive families for Christmas. The paperwork has taken longer than anticipated and was expedited because of the recent cholera outbreak. All of the children have been examined and, “As far as we can tell, the children are in good health,” pediatrician Patrick Daoud told the AFP news agency.
The Ivory Coast:
France is recommending that its citizens leave Ivory Coast. The recent elections are being contested and the French government is advising approximately 15,000 French nationals to leave until the situation is back to normal. President Sarkozy has been in negotiations with the former French colony.
For people (no matter where they live) who have high-speed Internet connections, this outage was a disaster. Millions of people were unable to connect via chat, phone or seeing or talking to others online. Many Bonjour Paris readers were impacted but c’est la vie in cyberspace.
Ah, it’s the holiday season.
(c) Paris New Media, LLC
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