Lille (AFP)

The mayor of Lille Martine Aubry pleads, faced with the crisis following the epidemic of Covid-19, for an "ecological reconstruction plan" of 50 billion euros per year, in a forum published in Le Journal du Dimanche.

"Saving our businesses and our jobs is the priority of priorities", insists the former Minister of Employment and Solidarity, but if the recovery plan "is based on revenues from before, the crises will resume as before, sooner or later".

This is why, in his eyes, "the second immediate priority is investment in the energy transition".

"We must make a resolute commitment to reach (a low-carbon society) before 2050. I dream of a bustling France: renovation of housing, public transport, rail freight, solar and thermal power stations, product recycling, organic and local agriculture… ", underlines Ms. Aubry, vying for the second round of municipal elections on June 28.

"Let us realize in ten years what we had planned to do in thirty. Public expenditure which reduces the ecological debt is undoubtedly essential. Here, the local communities have an essential role to play. In a few days, the new municipal councils will start in place, their boxes are full of projects to transform our modes of production, consumption, exchange ... which will come up against their finances, tested by the Covid "-19, she adds.

The mayor of Lille therefore proposes "the launch by the State, from September, of a call for ecological reconstruction projects for an amount of 50 billion euros per year, the projects of the selected communities benefiting from a financial contribution of 80% state. "

This "doubling of the effort for the climate" is "deemed necessary by the experts to achieve carbon neutrality". "You have to finance it with debt, which is an investment and not a debt when it finances an asset," she argues.

And, according to Martine Aubry, ecological spending must "not be taken into account in the reduction of deficits at European level". "Let’s stop sheltering behind the blockages, let’s be a vanguard with all those who want to carry this new Europe".

She also pleads for the extension, "the time that it will take", of "the public assumption of partial unemployment" and, according to her, the reform of unemployment insurance should "not simply be definitively canceled" but it immediate "universal unemployment insurance" must also be established.

Measures whose cost "may be financed by new revenue", such as "aligning the taxation of capital with that of labor" or the "reinstatement of wealth tax" (ISF).

© 2020 AFP