Paris 2024 President Tony Estanguet has lamented the use of the Games for political protests ©Getty Images

Paris 2024 President Tony Estanguet said here today it was "a shame" that protesters have used the Games to promulgate their political agenda.

Speaking a day after protesters chanting slogans had walked through the lobby of the Paris 2024 headquarters in a demonstration called for by the General Confederation of Workers, Estanguet said: "Recently we have seen protests that are not targeting the Games per se.

"There is a political agenda behind the pension reforms - nothing to do with the Games themselves.

"I think it is a shame because we believe the Games should be a space for celebration and people are trying to use them to make their own agendas known.

"We are not naïve.

"We know that the Games will be targeted, probably for different reasons to the Games themselves. 

"But that is why we need to continue working with the unions as we have been doing.

"Since the beginning of this project we wanted to set an example, and on the social side we have two representatives of unions that are part of the Organising Committee.

"We have also drafted a Social Charter that we have put into place with the help of all the unions in France, and this is regularly checked.

"So we have a very respectful dialogue with the unions and everything is working very smoothly.

"We want to be on the right lines together and to make sure all our promises in areas such as construction are being fulfilled.

"It is a matter of holding constructive dialogue."

Estanguet also took the opportunity during a media conference, taking place at the end of a three-day visit by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Coordination Commission, to effectively back up comments made by Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo over leaked information from a budgetary report on the Games.

Hidalgo has insisted that the city is "on schedule and on budget" for next year's Olympics and Paralympics despite leaks from a report being prepared by French audit body Cour des Comptes suggesting that there were "substantial uncertainties" over spending on the Games.

In a radio interview, Hidalgo recalled that other cities had endured obstacles and problems before staging the Games.

"In every Olympic and Paralympic Games around the world, one year from the Games, in general, it is a stressful time and everyone says you are not going to get there," Hidalgo told France Inter.

"I believe the Games will be a motor and an accelerator of the ecological transformation of Paris."

The comments of Paris 2024 President Tony Estanguet regarding the Games budget echoed a defence made earlier by Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo ©Getty Images
The comments of Paris 2024 President Tony Estanguet regarding the Games budget echoed a defence made earlier by Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo ©Getty Images

Earlier this week, the report by Cour des Comptes had expressed concern that budgets had risen by two thirds since the bid was tabled in 2017.

It pinpointed "incomprehensible ignorance of the specifications of the IOC and of the difficultly, if not the impossibility, of questioning it," a report on the findings of the body in Le Monde said.

The Organising Committee has estimated that the operating budget for the Games will rise by 10 per cent to €4.4 billion (£3.8 billion/$4.5 billion), partly due to the impact of inflation.

"While the level of resources retained seems plausible, substantial uncertainties remain, especially for domestic partnerships."

The report is to be placed before the French Parliament this month and is expected to reveal that there is still a substantial amount of work needed to enable expenses to be balanced with income for the Games.

Estanguet said: "We will take all the feedback from this report.

"But as we see it this is a confirmation that we are on the right track and going in the right direction.

"We have to continue to optimise the model and make it as efficient as possible.

"But there are no real sticking points in the report and there is nothing that we are really worried about.

"Knowing how stringent these reports are I think it is very satisfactory for us."