A "zone to protect", occupied since November by opponents of a project to extend an economic activity zone in Pertuis (Vaucluse), was evacuated on Tuesday by the gendarmerie.

The intervention took place "calmly and without incident", indicated the prefecture of Vaucluse in a press release.

This evacuation, which concerns 26 people, follows a court decision rendered in January by the local court of Pertuis which "granted the request of the Public Land Establishment of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur (EPF Paca)”, owner of the occupied buildings, specified the prefecture.

A “potato zone”

The dispute began in 2019 when local residents received the first expropriation notices with a view to creating a “land reserve”.

Renamed "potato zone" (ZAP, the same acronym as for "zone to protect") by its occupants, in homage to the historical cultivation of potatoes practiced in Pertuis, the evacuated sector includes four houses hit by expropriation which were among the first to be sold to EPF PACA.

“Of these 86 hectares of agricultural land, there are still 70% of the land which is irrigated, cultivated, productive, in particular in wheat”, indicates Bernadette Caillot, member of the collegiate council of the association Terres vives Pertuis.

I learn with anger of the evacuation of the potato area in #Pertuis #Zap where young people have come together to protect 87 hectares of fertile land threatened by concrete in the Plaine de la #Durance


Aberration of a world that defends the Mayor's conflict of interest situation… pic.twitter.com/JFiVKZYSld

— Sebastien Barles (@sebbarles) June 28, 2022


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A “climaticidal and useless project”

"I learn with anger of the evacuation of the potato zone (ZAP) in Pertuis, where young people have gathered to protect 87 hectares of fertile land threatened by concrete in the Durance plain", reacted in a press release. Sébastien Barles, EELV deputy to the mayor of Marseille and adviser to the Aix-Marseille-Provence metropolis.

With other elected officials from the Bouches-du-Rhône, in particular the LFI deputy for Marseille, Manuel Bompard or the director Cyril Dion, Sébastien Barles had sent an open letter at the beginning of June to the president of the metropolis, the LR Martine Vassal, for ask him "the immediate stop of this climate-killing and useless project", even though "the transition, zero net artificialisation and ecological planning are present in all the speeches of the leaders".

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