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‘Doing nothing’: French transport minister criticizes Paris mayor as garbage piles up in capital

France's transport minister criticized the mayor of Paris as trash piled up in the capital amid a strike action by garbage collectors, local media reported.

The garbage collectors in Paris walked out on March 6 to protest the government's pension reform plan and then decided to extend the strike, which caused more than 5,000 tons of garbage to rot in the streets with rats all around them, according to Le Figaro newspaper.

"The capital has become a giant open-air trash," Transport Minister Clement Beaune told broadcaster France 2 on Tuesday.

"I have respect for the garbage collectors' walkout," he added. "But when someone is responsible for a big city, and the capital in particular, they also have the responsibility to act."

The minister criticized mayor Anne Hidalgo, and deplored a risk to public health.

"It's not the garbage collectors' walkout that hits me so badly, it's Anne Hidalgo … she is doing nothing," Beaune continued.

"District mayors and half of the members of the parliament for Paris have called on her but she did not deign to respond."

The country saw nationwide demonstrations and walkouts last week, with millions protesting against the government’s pension reform plan.

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