Eiffel Tower looks blue for Europe Day

9th May 2006, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, May 9, 2006 (AFP) - The Eiffel Tower was lit up blue Tuesday as France celebrated the foundation of what is now the European Union — and stressed the importance of the bloc to its citizens.

PARIS, May 9, 2006 (AFP) - The Eiffel Tower was lit up blue Tuesday as France celebrated the foundation of what is now the European Union — and stressed the importance of the bloc to its citizens.

Junior Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna said France was this year going all out to mark Europe Day so as to "show that Europe exists and plays an important role in the lives of the French".

As well as the famous tower, metro tickets were also blue for the day, and a Eurostar train left for London specially coated in the colour of the EU flag.

Movies, concerts and other events also took place around the country.

Europe Day falls on May 9 each year, in commemoration of the date in 1950 on which the then French foreign minister, Robert Schuman, called on France, Germany and other European countries to pool coal and steel production as the first step towards "a European federation".

Official efforts to mark the day were more visible this year than in the past, amid signs of disenchantment in France and elsewhere with the expansion of the European Union.

Nearly a year ago, the adoption of an EU constitution was scuttled when French voters cast a majority of 'non' ballots in a referendum.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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