France celebrates EU enlargement

30th April 2004, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, April 30 (AFP) - France will fete the expansion of the European Union in style on Saturday with a picnic at the foot of the Eiffel Tower, a music marathon and free Seine river cruises for citizens of the 10 new member states.

PARIS, April 30 (AFP) - France will fete the expansion of the European Union in style on Saturday with a picnic at the foot of the Eiffel Tower, a music marathon and free Seine river cruises for citizens of the 10 new member states.

Government buildings, monuments, underground trains and city buses will be draped with the blue and gold of the EU flag from Saturday for 10 days as part of the "10 Days, 10 Countries, one Europe" initiative.

Musicians from Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia will gather in the French capital to celebrate their newfound EU citizenship with a concert marathon.

Each group will have 30 minutes to introduce Parisians to current musical trends in their home state during the event, the focal point of Saturday's celebrations, at the Maison des Cultures du Monde in the Latin Quarter.

For nationals of the 10 central and eastern European countries looking to discover Paris, tourist boat operator Bateaux-Mouches will offer free 70-minute river tours on the Seine, on presentation of their passports.

France Telecom is offering an hour of free calls toward the 10 new EU states, whose membership will swell the EU's ranks to 25 nations and 450 million people.

On the eve of EU enlargement day, thousands of roller skaters on their traditional Friday night procession will whizz past the embassies of the 10 new member states in the French capital.

Along the famed Champs-Elysees, 50 photographs snapped by youths from the new EU states will be displayed to give Parisians an insider's view of the 10 capitals.

The French postal service will issue a special EU stamp on May 1 to mark the expansion of the bloc from 15 to 25 member states, with the map of the new European Union against an azure background.

© AFP

                                              Subject: French news

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