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Airpnp: Polish activists cause a stink with toilet-sharing app stunt

An urbanist movement in Warsaw grabbed headlines in Poland when it shared adverts for a new app that..

An urbanist movement in Warsaw grabbed headlines in Poland when it shared adverts for a new app that purported to allow users to rent out their toilets for a fee.

“We all have basic physiological needs,” the advert for Airpnp (Air Poo and Pee) read. “Many of us have trouble using public toilets. It is often difficult to quickly find a toilet that is near or clean enough. Now you don’t have to worry about that anymore.”

It’s unclear how many went to download the app or were put off by the multiple hygiene-related issues the concept throws up.

Regardless, the app was later revealed as a fake. It was all a stunt to highlight an alleged lack of public toilets in the Polish capital.




An urbanist movement in Warsaw grabbed headlines in Poland when it shared adverts for a new app that purported to allow users to rent out their toilets for a fee.

“We all have basic physiological needs,” the advert for Airpnp (Air Poo and Pee) read. “Many of us have trouble using public toilets. It is often difficult to quickly find a toilet that is near or clean enough. Now you don’t have to worry about that anymore.”


It’s unclear how many went to download the app or were put off by the multiple hygiene-related issues the concept throws up.

Regardless, the app was later revealed as a fake. It was all a stunt to highlight an alleged lack of public toilets in the Polish capital.



“We were thinking about how to raise the issue of lack of availability of public toilets in the city in the city, and thought if we raise this issue in a standard way, perhaps we wouldn’t get much attention,” Jan Mencwel, president of Miasto Jest Nasze, told Euronews.

The fake advert resembles an app that was tested at the New Orleans Mardi Gras in 2014, which allowed people to charge members of the public to use their private toilet.

Within 24 hours of being published online, the Polish advert had been shared by hundreds of users on Facebook and Twitter, as well as being picked up by some national media including Polsat News and Business Insider.

A few clocked on to the fact it was a stunt, others did not.

“In the ’80s people thought we would have flying cars … What do we have? An app allows you to earn money by sharing the loo,” wrote one person on Twitter.

“I can provide a litter box,” one user quipped.

Mencwel said the idea of campaigning for more public toilets came about after Miasto Jest Nasze found Warsaw had far less public toilets that some neighbouring capitals.

When looking at the total from the Polish capital, it recorded 153 toilets, which is “not terrible, but not good compared to the likes of Berlin and Prague”, which have 653 and 243 respectively.

As well as drawing attention to Warsaw’s lack of public lavatories, Mencwel also said his association thought it would be interesting to “raise the question if the peer-to-peer model used by Uber and Airbnb has many faults that we don’t see”.

“It’s based on interactions between people, but at the same time monetising these interactions, and often based on a lack of public services,” he said. “And also a lack of regulations and a lack of control.”

Euronews contacted Airbnb for comment but had not received a response at the time of publication. Uber declined to comment.

Miasto Jest Nasze, which is the largest movement of its kind in Poland and has seen candidates elected to the district council, aims to build support for the idea of ​​sustainable development and modernisation of the city.

The political association has created an app in light of the findings on public toilets, which takes data on their locations from the city authority’s website and presents it in a mobile-ready format.

Mencwel said the association encourages people to check the toilets that are flagged on the map to see what condition they are in and email them to imp.

The group plans to “add more information so when you’re out in the street you can see via your mobile phone if these are proper facilities for disabled people, pregnant women, or people with a small child, for example”.

Euronews contacted the Warsaw mayor’s office but had not received a response at the time of publication.

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Covid: Thousands protest in France against proposed new vaccine pass

A new draft law would in effect ban unvaccinated people from public life.

Demonstrators in the capital, Paris, held placards emblazoned with phrases like “no to vaccine passes”.

Interior Ministry officials said 34 people were arrested and some 10 police officers were injured after the protests turned violent in some places.

The bill, which passed its first reading in the lower house of France’s parliament on Thursday, would remove the option of showing a negative Covid-19 test to gain access to a host of public venues.

Instead, people would have to be fully vaccinated to visit a range of spaces, including bars and restaurants.

The government says it expects the new rules to come into force on 15 January, although the opposition-dominated Senate could delay the process.

But demonstrators on Saturday accused the government of trampling on their freedoms and treating citizens unequally.

Others targeted their anger at the president, Emmanuel Macron, over comments he made earlier this week in relation to unvaccinated citizens, telling Le Parisian newspaper that he wanted to “piss them off”.

One protester, hospital administrator Virginie Houget, told the Reuters news agency that Mr Macron’s remarks were “the last straw”.

And in Paris, where some 18,000 people marched against the new law, demonstrators responded to his coarse language by chanting: “We’ll piss you off”.

TV images showed altercations between protesters and police turning violent in some places. In Montpellier officers used teargas during clashes with the demonstrators.

Turnout for the protests was estimated to be about four times higher than the last major demonstrations on 18 December, when some 25,500 people marched across the country.

But despite the vocal protests, opposition to the new measures is not widespread and recent polling suggests the vast majority of people back the vaccine pass.

France is one of the most highly vaccinated countries in Europe, with more than 90% of over-12s eligible for the shot fully vaccinated.

Meanwhile, new coronavirus infections are rising rapidly across France as the new Omicron variant takes hold.

The country recorded more than 300,000 new cases for the second time in a week on Friday and admissions to intensive care wards are rising steadily, putting healthcare systems under strain.

Some hospitals have reported that some 85% of ICU patients are not vaccinated against Covid-19.

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Covid-19: ‘There is no choice between lives and livelihoods,’ OECD chief Gurría says

Issued on: 13/11/2020 – 17:26

As European countries move into their second Covid-19 lockdowns of t..

Issued on: 13/11/2020 – 17:26

As European countries move into their second Covid-19 lockdowns of the year, the head of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development backs measures seen by many as tough. Ángel Gurría tells FRANCE 24: "If you win the battle against the virus first, you will have less economic consequences." He adds that "there is no choice between lives and livelihoods; it's a false dilemma".

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Mexican economist Ángel Gurría has been Secretary-General of the OECD since 2006 – throughout the global financial crash and subsequent recovery.

With hopes now high for viable vaccines against Covid-19, he's telling world leaders that the solutions to health and economic crises must carry the elements of our solutions to the environmental crisis too: "The single most important inter-generational responsibility is with the planet. That means the recovery, where we are going to make investments that have an impact for the next 30, 40 years, must absolutely have the sustainability of the planet in mind".

On the recently announced Pfizer vaccine, Gurría says: "It is a game changer […] The possibility of a vaccine being close is of enormous consequence. We still have to wait for it to be finalised, approved and distributed in sufficient amounts that it can get everywhere, so we are calculating that we are going to spend most of 2021 still living with the virus. But it changes expectations; the whole mood has improved considerably since the announcement."

On the refusal of Donald Trump, leader of the OECD's biggest single funder, to concede defeat in the US presidential election, Gurría sounds an upbeat note: "I believe that we will have an orderly transition of power in the United States come 20th January 2021. I believe in the institutions in the United States, I believe that the political forces in the United States will eventually align."

Finally, as talks drag on over a new Brexit deal on the future relationship between the EU and the United Kingdom, Gurría says he still expects a deal to be struck: "I believe that the common interest will lead to a deal […] The impact in Europe is going to be limited to the trade with the UK. The impact in the UK is going to be very serious, not only because of the flows of trade and flows of investment, but also because the overall business mood will be affected. So I am still counting on a deal."

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Attacks in France and Austria: Europe’s response to extremism

Issued on: 13/11/2020 – 17:40Modified: 13/11/2020 – 17:42

TALKING EUROPE © FRANCE 24
This Friday..

Issued on: 13/11/2020 – 17:40Modified: 13/11/2020 – 17:42

TALKING EUROPE
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This Friday marks the fifth anniversary of the Paris terror attacks, in which 130 people were killed. The last few weeks have seen more bloodshed, with attacks in the Paris region, in Nice and in the Austrian capital Vienna. European leaders are looking for solutions: ways to stop hate being preached, broadcast and acted upon, while defending individual freedoms of speech and of conscience. In our debate we ask two leading members of the European Parliament, from France and from Austria, what they believe should be done.

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Produced by Yi Song and Perrine Desplats

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  • Andreas SCHIEDER, Austrian MEP, Socialists & Democrats
  • Nathalie LOISEAU, French MEP, Renew Europe

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