Demonstration in Marseille against new government measures -

Fabien Dupoux / SIPA

  • This Wednesday, Olivier Véran, Minister of Health, announced new restrictive measures applying only in specific cities and departments.

  • Measures that were very badly experienced at the local level, even outright contested.

    Never before have sanitary measures known such a level of reprimand.

  • Is there a risk of going as far as a rebellion of communities and major civil disobedience?

Has the rift between the executive and the famous “territories” been over?

Rarely have government health measures seemed so unpopular, nor as much called into question and contested as since the announcements made on Wednesday by Olivier Véran.

Protest by restaurateurs in Nice, misunderstanding in Paris, demonstration in Marseille… This Friday, Samia Ghali, deputy mayor of Marseille, said on BFM TV that the city's municipal police would not issue a ticket to restaurants or bars that remain open despite the ban.

Should we fear a split of the communities and a rebellion of the regions against the executive?

Will we soon be witnessing the creation of the Autonomous Republic of Marseille or the founding of independent Nice?

Philippe Laurent, mayor of Sceaux and secretary general of the Association of Mayors of France (AMF), tempers our revolutionary ardor: “We do not intend to demonstrate in front of the Elysee or Matignon, nor to take the forks out.

We are just bitter to note that such heavy announcements were taken without the slightest meeting with the mayors or associations of elected officials.


Decentralization to prefects and not mayors

Far from wanting to guillotine Jean Castex, the secretary general assures us that the demands of local elected officials are not so surreal: "In a crisis like this, a single word with one and the same person who speaks systematically, for example the Prime Minister .

Then, we want the elected officials concerned to be permanently informed of the progress of the measures, and just as there is a defense committee, that the executive create a committee with the mayors of France to consult us every week.


Requests realistic or not, anger roars.

And if the idea that specific measures at the territorial level would work better because they seem more appropriate, the opposite is true.

Already because of this famous lack of consultation: “The decentralization of the executive has not taken place.

We discover that when the Prime Minister spoke of the territories, he spoke of the prefects and not of the mayors ”, plague Philippe Laurent.

Towards civil disobedience?

Then, because in a nation as centralized as France, the idea that only some are subject to constraints and not everyone goes wrong.

Stéphane Rozès, President of Conseils, Analyzes et Perspectives (CAP), explains: “Unlike other countries, the French imagination only considers France as homogeneous and unified, and therefore only measures of a global and national nature are accepted. .

"A fortiori in certain cities that will not be named but with a European champion team in 1993," and which were built in a kind of internalization, of paranoia against Paris, "he specifies.

The whole question is how far will this anger grow.

Stéphane Rozès does not deny the risk of major civil disobedience, “especially since for many professionals, it is a question of survival, and the State is not clear on how and until where it is. will accompany and compensate for the losses.

Traders can also count on their massive support from their customers, who will probably follow them in case of refusal to apply the measures.


More dialogue, less disasters

Asked about the Samia Ghali case, Philippe Laurent recalls the ambiguity of the situation.

On the one hand, there is an obligation to apply the measures, and a contrary decision is "punishable by repression", but it is up to local elected officials to determine the priorities of the police, and therefore what they control - or not - with the most vehemence.

"In the long term, we risk the break-up of the country, with increasingly unpopular and poorly implemented decisions".

But rest assured, our two speakers assure it, this is only the most apocalyptic scenario, and in reality, the pair sees a clear solution to the problem: better communication and more dialogue.

For Stéphane Rozès, in order to avoid "civil and health disobedience", just that, the executive must take things in hand and put the local elected representatives around the table and explain to them the evaluation criteria and the measures.

"That the government is clear, already with itself, then with the elected officials of the communities, and I am sure that all will be well", he lifts us up the morale: "The mayors are not dissidents, they want just understand.

Better explained, the measures will be better applied.


And even better respected according to Philippe Laurent.

The secretary general of the AMF notes that the words of the State are less and less recognized and discredited with regard to the health crisis: "Being supported and joined by local elected officials would make the measures less unpopular, better understood and the population would adhere to it more.

By wanting to exclude us from the dialogue, the state is serving itself and the fight against the coronavirus.



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