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France

Eiffel Tower reopens after strike

media Strike posters at the Eiffel Tower this week AFP/BERTRAND GUAY BERTRAND GUAY / AFP

Paris's Eiffel Tower reopened on Friday morning after a strike that lasted one and a half days.

Visitors were allowed access to the world-famous landmark at 9.00am on Friday morning after management and unions announced they had reached an agreement that could end the dispute.

Workers walked out in protest at a new access policy to allocate separate to visitors with prebooked tickets and those who buy them on site.

The tower now sets aside half of its tickets for internet customers, up from just 20 percent previously.

Workers said the changes resulted in lopsided queues that could extend to three hours for those waiting to pay for tickets and up to an hour for internet customers who are supposed to have reserved time slots.

They asked for more flexibility in dealing with the bottlenecks.

The tower's operator, SETE, which is part owned by the Paris city council, claims that queues are no worse than before, even as visitor numbers have risen, with more than 6.2 million tickets sold last year.

It apologised to tourists who had not been able to visit the tower on 1-2 August and promised to refund people who had bought tickets.

The tower has been closed on several occasions in recent year, sometimes because of strikes but also because of snow and for security reasons.

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