Black and North African workers were excluded from Paris’s main railway station during a visit by Israel’s President amid fears they might be Muslim, it has been alleged. The decision was reportedly made ahead of Shimon Peres’s arrival in the city on March 8 to discuss the Middle East peace process with President Francois Hollande.
The Telegraph reports Peres and his delegation were greeted at Paris Gare du Nord by non-excluded staff from France’s state-owned railway SNCF, and their baggage handling subsidiary, ITIREMIA.
The allegations are made in an official complaint by the left-wing SUD-Rail transport union, which claims deliberate steps were taken to ensure there were “no Muslim employees to welcome the Head of State of Israel.” It adds the decision was “based on the appearance of employees”. SUD-Rail spokesman Monique Dabat told Radio Internationale Française: “The employees noticed that anyone who was black or Arab was excluded from the job and when afterwards they demanded an explanation from the site boss they received the reply that it wasn’t because they were black or Arab but there couldn’t be any Muslims getting close to Shimon Peres.”
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