Mourning In Paris

photo: bistro, cafe at alma

Transatlantic Flights Resume

Paris:- Monday, 17. September 2001:- At noon on Friday, France stopped for three minutes to remember those lost in the tragedy in the United States on Tuesday.

A few minutes before noon, all of Notre-Dame's bells tolled, while all radio and TV stations stopped their broadcasts for three minutes.

Président Jacques Chirac, together with the US ambassador to France, took part in a brief ceremony in the courtyard of the Elysée Palace, which was accompanied by the national hymns of both countries.

The scene was repeated at the Matignon by Prime Minister Lionel Jospin and his cabinet, and at the city council gathered in the Hôtel de Ville.

This three minutes of mourning was repeated throughout Europe, by persons in all walks of life, wherever they happened to be.

Many citizens of the United States in Parisphoto: memorial flowers, place de la concorde gathered at the Place de la Concorde in front of the US embassy, where an area had been set aside for the laying of wreaths and other mementos.

At La Défense - 'Manhattan-Paris' - some visitors unable to get flights home, joined the office workers from the high towers of the area in front of the church on the esplanade for three minutes of silence.

The ordinary life of the tourist stopped at noon in the Louvre too, with many visitors of many nationalities joining hands, while the guides present interrupted their multilingual commentaries.

At the Préfecture of Police on the Ile de la Cité, support was pledged to the police and firemen of New York and Washington.

At Roissy, where some flights had resumed, the usual bustle stopped for the three minutes too. Out at Disneyland-Paris, all the rides and attractions made a pause as well.

Transatlantic Flights Resume - on Friday two jets belonging to Delta Airlines and one American Airlines jet took off from Roissy, to resume flights to the United States. Some hours later the first Air France jet, carrying 294 passengers, departed for Atlanta. British Airways and Lufthansa also announced the resumption of flights to the United States.

Last Thursday, US aviation authorities announced stricter security measures for non-US carriers flying to destinations in the United States. An Alitalia flight to New York was turned back in mid-flight with 120 mostly American passengers aboard.

Stock Markets Tumble - many bourses resumed trading last Wednesday, interrupting hectic activity by a minute of silence at 14:15 in Europe. Despite large injections of cash by the Bank of Japan and the European Central Bank, stock markets that were open registered substantial losses on the day's trading - averaging about minus seven percent.

The US Federal Reserve Bank asked other central banks to minimize dollar transactions, and the exchange rate with the euro dropped from over 0.91 to the dollar late on Wednesday, to about 0.90 euros on Wednesday. The stock markets in London, Frankfurt and Madrid were slightly up at the end of Wednesday's trading.

Thursday's trading in Europe saw further advances. The world of moola is anxiously awaiting the effect of the reopening of the stock markets in the United States on Tuesday.

Security In Paris - has been reinforced dramatically since Tuesday's events in the Unitedphoto: parisien 15.09, deuil States with the reintroduction of the 'Vigipirate' plan, which calls for 1000 CRS troops and another 600 from the armed services to reinforce Paris' own 3400 policemen.

Apparently it is usual in times of crises for bomb alerts to increase, from an average of three or four per day - to between 30 and 40 on average last week.

In the case of a bomb alert, the street is sealed off and security agents establish a safety zone. Then the bomb experts take over and handle the case - usually an abandoned package.

On Saturday two teenagers were tracked down to their portable phone, which they had used to phone in a false alert to the Tour Eiffel.

A side result of the increased security, was the total absence of armed robbery in Paris. Other crimes fell off considerably too - especially with the frequent controls of personal ID papers.

French Return On Presidential Jet - 73 French citizens, stranded in various sorts of difficulty in New York, were flown to Paris Sunday morning on the Airbus 310 assigned to the Président of France, Jacques Chirac.

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