Eiffel Tower stunt exposes security concern on eve of French election

As Mr Macron and Ms Le Pen make their last push for support, protests have been breaking out in Paris. Environmental activists broke into the Eiffel Tower and hung a banner bearing France’s national motto before abseiling down the tower’s archway. The head of Greenpeace in France, Jean-Francois Julliard, told reporters: “Liberty, equality, fraternity: it is vital to defend these values which are particularly threatened by the National Front.” France remains on high alert following a series of terror attacks, and following the break-in, police in Paris said the protest had uncovered “flaws” in the Eiffel Tower’s security which needed to be addressed.

Above and beyond the motives, this publicity stunt, in the current climate, exposes faults in the security arrangements at the Eiffel Tower.

Police Prefect Michel Delpuech

Meanwhile, entrances to 10 high schools throughout the capital have been blocked by student protesters who say they are opposed to both presidential candidates. That sentiment seems to be shared by the wider electorate, with research suggesting that a quarter of those eligible to vote are likely to abstain in Sunday’s run-off. Many of those planning to stay at home are left-wing voters who are disappointed that their preferred candidate was eliminated in the first round.