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Paris mayor readies for new pollution spike

FRED DUFOUR, AFP I Picture taken May, 16 shows heavy traffic on the rue Lafayette in Paris

On the eve of a new spike in pollution, Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo demanded Tuesday that the government draw up measures to manage the situation, including convening a crisis group.

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Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo and Jean-Paul Huchon, president of the Ile-de-France region, said plans to avoid the “misunderstandings” in the management of the last spike in pollution needed to be put in place immediately.

They called for co-ordinated action between the state, the city of Paris and the region. Measures such as “alternating traffic” and making public transport free require state authorisation.

Ecology minister Ségolène Royal also joined the call for preparedness, saying that she had asked the prefect to “bring together elected officials” from the region for a meeting on Wednesday morning, adding that the government needed to be ready to act as soon as the first warning bells sounded. These anti-pollution measures include “a speed limit set at 20 kilometres per hour, a ban on the spreading of fertiliser, a reduction of industrial pollution and a ban on fire".

There is currently no plan to impose either the “alternating traffic” order or free public transport but Royal said that it could be part of Wednesday’s discussions.

However, Royal was keen to clarify that “this is not a crisis meeting but an informational meeting.”

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)

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