...Continued from page 1

In a long investigation, the detectives climbed up the chain of the resellers and fences, to arrive at the press. There they found 5,000 tickets ready to go - with face values of from 120 francs to over 500 each.

The man arrested has no previous record. With the equipment found in the printing plant, police estimate the gang had been putting out 4,000 tickets a month, for the last 18 months. Police also found 200 kilos worth of rolls of stolen carton, the same as used for printing the real tickets.

Police also found fake 100 franc notes, and thousands of the new 200 franc notes, plus the plates and films. Better yet, films necessary for making plates for printing the brand-new US 100 dollar notes, were recovered.

Police reportedly estimated the gang had put 150 million francs worth of tickets and currency into circulation. Two other men are being sought.

Asterix May Want You

If you can handle a sword and cape, do music hall and some elastical acrobatics, then you might be someone the Parc Asterix is looking for to do stunts. They have on-the-job training for their specific needs, for the right people. You must be available in January and under 26 years old. Send a CV, flattering photo, and a letter outlining why you want to do capers for a living, to Parc Asterix, Cécile Croquin, BP 8, 60128 Plailly, France; and quote the reference 0028PA2, and not me.

The Trial of Maurice Papon

The trial of Maurice Papon for crimes against humanity is expected to get underway again this coming Wednesday, 4. December.

A court-appointed doctor who examined him assured the court that Mr. Papon would be there in spite of Mr. Papon's lawyer warning that his client will be too weak to take the stand.

Apparently the Bordeaux judiciary has anticipated these delays and is taking the suspensions with a certain calm.

There are 18 jurors in all; nine in the first line and nine substitutes. While court is in session they are compensated at 324 francs a day, but they receive nothing while the court is in suspension, nor do they receive their normal salaries. The judicial system is trying to solve this problem at the moment.

Web sites devoted to the History and Trial of Maurice Papon

The Matisson family were the first to launch a civil case against Maurice Papon, in 1981. Jean-Marie Matisson runs the website, and reports from the courtroom. At the website, click on 'Affaire Papon.'

Another website of interest contains daily coverage of the trial by the Bordeaux paper, the Sud Ouest.

Sports News: World Cup Accommodations

You may not be thinking about it yet, but the Brazilians have already decided to lodge their team at the Château de la Grand Romaine, at Lésigny, out to the east on Paris, in Seine-et-Marne. This is without waiting for the 4. December draw, to be held in Marseille, which will decide which teams play where.

Once Brazilian officials decided they are going to stay in Lésigny, everybody in South America wants to stay there too - and Mondiresa has booked 35,000 overnights in the region. Around Lésigny, hotels have simply bar Palace des 2 Moulins doubled their prices. I don't believe this, but another hotel manager in the same area said he wasn't changing his prices and rooms are still 155 francs a night.

Closer to where I live, and close to the PSG training centre at Saint-Germain-en-Laye, the manager of the Hôtel de la Forêt said his room rates would stay at their normal 160 francs a night, and he would be charging extra for 'other services.'

THe photo of this bar in the rue Lepic has nothing to do with 'Sports News.'

Saint-Germain-en-Laye is not known - by me - to be some sort of pauper's paradise and I find it hard to believe there is a hotel there which charges 160 francs a night for a room at any time. For a place to throw a sleeping bag in the parking lot maybe, but not for a room.

Le Parisien's comment is that rate rises of double to triple have been normal in the past for big sporting events - and this seems somewhat realistic.

Altogether, Mondiresa has taken bookings for 200,000 overnights around Paris. A third of all match tickets have been sold to foreign sportsfans, and if each of them intends to see three games - the average - then the organizers expect 3-400,000 visitors.

I am multiplying that by the estimated number of overnights and I think I will go down to my spare place in the garage and calculate how many people can sleep on the concrete floor there.

Le Parisien also says a French Hotel Association survey of 650 hotels in the Ile-de-France has shown price increases for next summer's World Cup period, averaging 15 percent.

An outfit called 'Mondiresa' is supposed to be the official reservation centre for accommodations for the period of the World Cup next summer. Hotels attached to this reservation service are not supposed to charge more than 25 percent more than their normal rates.

Mondiresa is supposed to have deals with 750 hotels, so if you are thinking of being in Paris during the World Cup, sending them a fax enquiry might be worthwhile.

Mondiresa - Mme Simone le Dren
Tel.: 01 60 91 01 01.
Tel.: 33-1 60 91 01 01.
Fax.: 33-1 44 25 23 91.

The FIFA has a web site for keeping track of the official word on what is going on with everything that concerns the World Cup '98 - which includes less than you want to know about what happens before it.

For more than you want to know, keep your radio dialed to this frequency.

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