The French president’s office has confirmed that a new press room will be created outside the Elysee Presidential Palace in Paris despite protests from the media.

The Elysee palace said Wednesday the new room will be finished by the end of the year to “offer improved working conditions to a greater number of journalists.”

France’s Presidential Press Association had called on President Emmanuel Macron to reconsider his decision to close the press room inside the Elysee. But the president’s office suggested it will be used as a meeting room for Elysee staff.

FILE – In this Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2018 file photo, French President Emmanuel Macron speaks with the press as he arrives for an EU summit in Brussels. France’s Presidential Press Association has called on President Emmanuel Macron to reconsider his decision to close the press room inside the presidential palace. In a statement Tuesday, Oct, 23 the association that represents French and foreign media accredited with the presidency said the press room’s closure would be “a lockdown of the Elysee Palace and a decision prejudicial to journalists’ freedom to inform and to work.” (AP Photo/Francisco Seco, file)

His office said the new press room will accommodate 36 seated journalists, compared to just 16 now.

A press room has been inside the Elysee Palace for more than 40 years. Critics say the new media center will reduce journalists’ access to French government officials.

Source: The Associated Press

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