Blog: Simon WarburtonTime for a lift in rainy Paris

Simon Warburton | 26 September 2012

After finally battling through Charles de Gaulle's ongoing building site and waiting interminably to get through immigration - one desk open for all EU passports? - I've just arrived at my lodgings near to the motor show.

And it's pouring down. That'll delay my attempt to pick up accreditation for the show, but it let me watch a bit of TV, which is full of the news French unemployment has just passed the psychologically sensitive three million mark, having soared 9% alone this year. 

That will come as a cold shower to France's new President, Francois Hollande and his equally left-leaning government, as well as putting the motor show opening for press days tomorow and Friday, in stark contrast.

It seems the President is due at the show late tomorrow afternoon and we wait to see if the PSA unions - currently seething at the automaker's plans to axe up to 8,000 jobs - will provide a welcoming committee.

Hollande - and his Economics Minister, Arnaud Montebourg, have firmly aligned themselves with the PSA workers' cause - and who knows who else is waiting to implement their own staffing reduction plans - whether automaker or supplier?

I spoke to Japanese supplier body, JAPIA, earlier and they've confirmed a meeting tomorrow - it sounded as they were on a tour bus doing the sights - while CLEPA is on Friday and I'm waiting to hear from OESA to complete the global set.

The rain is continuing to fall 'like cords' as they say in these parts, so there's nothing for it, I'm going to head out into the monsoon and try and pick up my badge. 

If I can face the lift in my hotel mind. Not for the faint-hearted, it has to be the tiniest elevator I've ever used and requires quite a leap of faith to squeeze into its miniscule dimensions.

And just as a by the by, right in front of Paris' eccentric Pompidou arts centre, they've just put up an enormous statue 'celebrating' the incomparable Zinedine Zidane, re-enacting his infamous headbut of Marco Materazzi in the 2006 World Cup final. As I said, eccentric...


Colossal China powers on

I'm starting to get a small idea of the scale of things here in China, but really, I'm only scratching the surface of this vast country....

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