Disneyland Asks France To Militarize Police To Protect Tourism Profits

A soldier patrols in the courtyard of the Louvre Museum in Paris, Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2015. France made an unprecedented demand on Tuesday for its European Union allies to support its military action against the Islamic State group as it launched new airstrikes on the militants' Syrian stronghold. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

A soldier patrols in the courtyard of the Louvre Museum in Paris, Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2015. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

Arguing that profits this year are significantly lower because of labor strikes and terror attacks, Disneyland and 20 other leading tourist companies have written to the French government and urged them to set up a special, armed police force in the capital.

In a letter issued late September, the tourist firms gathered under the rubric Alliance 46.2 said the measures are necessary because Paris has been the target of two major terror attacks while violent labor strikes have led to social paralysis, and Asian tourists have especially been the victim of crime over the past three years including muggings.

All of these factors, argue Alliance 46.2, have given the city a bad image and as a result the association fears a 4 to 5 percent drop in tourism this year. Because of this, the tourist association, fronted by Disneyland, wants a special force to track down “both criminal gangs and petty crooks who poison the lives of tourists” and even a “special prosecutor” to compliment the armed units.

Youths clash with riot police officers during a high school students demonstration against a labor reform, in Paris, Thursday, March 24, 2016. France's Socialist government is due to formally present a contested labor reform that aims to amend the 35-hour workweek and relax other labor rules. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

Youths clash with riot police officers during a high school students demonstration against a labor reform, in Paris, Thursday, March 24, 2016. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

The tourist firms are also demanding a reform to the criminal code which would dish out heavier sentences for crimes carried out in touristic areas as well as ban criminals from returning to touristic areas where they had committed offences.

As a response to the terror attacks in January and November 2015, the government has largely boosted its national security, which critics have widely denounced as a “French Patriot Act” —the bill introduced by George W. Bush Jr. after the 9/11 attacks.

The labor reform, portrayed by unions as the bigger setback to labor rights in modern French history, was met with a wave of protests, which the government addressed with systematic police violence. Human rights organizations, including the United Nations, expressed concern about undue police brutality deployed by French authorities against demonstrators and activists.


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