Olympics festival mood will 'not be spoilt' by rise of far-right, says Paris mayor

The festival mood surrounding the Olympic Games "will not be spoilt" in Paris this summer by the success of the far-right in the first round of France's parliamentary elections, the capital's mayor has said.

The comments come as Air France said it expects to make a loss of up to €180m (£153m) because it believes tourists are avoiding the country because of the Olympics, which begin in just over three weeks.

A mixture of reasons has been blamed for tourists avoiding France, including high prices expected during the games and the country's current political turmoil.

The French capital's mayor Anne Hidalgo has defiantly urged people to visit the city despite concern over the opening round of election results.

"The party will not be spoilt. The festival will be a beautiful one," she told France 2 TV.

"I say to visitors from all over the world - come over!

"Because Paris is the city which still stands up for freedom and is a city of resistance.

"The game is not over. We have to mobilise all our forces."

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Opponents of the far-right are trying to build an alliance to prevent a prime minister from Marine Le Pen's National Rally party moving into parliament.

Last month, Ms Hidalgo said visitors travelling from abroad should not be worried by political unrest in France.

"As the far-right is at the gates of power ahead of the Olympic Games, I want to tell our friends from abroad who are worried that Paris is a place where we will continue to breathe democracy," she said.

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An airline group said it was expecting big losses due to the Olympics because "international markets" were avoiding Paris.

Air France-KLM is expecting revenue losses of €160m to €180m (£135m-£153m) between June and August.

In a statement, the air carrier said: "International markets show a significant avoidance of Paris.

"Travel between the city and other destinations is also below the usual June-August average as residents in France seem to be postponing their holidays until after the Olympic Games or considering alternative travel plans."

Travel to and from France is expected to normalise after the Olympics in September, the company added.

Hotels have also reportedly expressed concern about low bookings ahead of the Olympics, which run from 26 July until 11 August.

Tourists are said to be worried about high prices in Paris during the games and overcrowding.