The Iron Lady threatens to draw the curtain. Monday February 12, the unions of the Eiffel Tower operating company (SETE) unanimously voted for a renewable strike from February 19, in the middle of the school holidays, according to information from Challenges, confirmed by the Radio France Agency.
This strike is a reaction to the poor financial management of the Eiffel Tower by the municipality. The unions believe that costs are underestimated and revenues overestimated. Despite its 6.3 million visitors in 2023, or 17,000 visitors per day, the most emblematic monument faces a cash flow hole “of several million euros”, indicates Challenges. Since 2017, the costs of the work initially planned have been exceeded by 128 million euros. This financial situation risks getting worse, since Paris City Hall is about to increase its fee from 8 million euros to around 50 million euros this year.
The City of Paris owns 99% of the capital of SETE, which operates the monument as part of a public service delegation (DSP). That is to say that the town hall entrusts the management of a public service, in this case the management of the services offered by the Eiffel Tower, "to a public or private delegate" - here the SETE - "whose remuneration is substantially linked to the result of the operation of the service” (Source: law no. 2001-1168 of December 11, 2001 known as the MURCEF law, article L1411-1 of the General Code of Local Authorities). The contract, signed in 2017, runs until 2030.