TICKET inspectors in the Métro and RER in Paris are going easy with travellers in the run-up to the presidential election vote on Sunday - for fear of sparking an incident that could impact on the campaign.
The move by Ile-de-France transport authority RATP means travellers without tickets will have little risk of being caught at the main stations Gare du Nord, Châtelet-les-Halles and Gare Saint-Lazare.
Journalists at Le Point were first to spot the lack of inspectors and a contact told them "inspectors have been told to go easy in the busiest Métro and RER stations".
When asked by the magazine, RATP did not deny the cut in inspections but said it was for a different reason, the huge number of young people travelling through the stations during the school holidays. The authority said the controls would restart this weekend.
In 2007 trouble broke out at Gare du Nord a month before the presidential election after a traveller was caught without a ticket. It started a debate that lasted until the election which Nicolas Sarkozy won.
Photo: Fabio Venni