As soon as his weekly press conference ended, Wednesday September 23, Olivier Véran found himself under fire from critics.

The Minister of Health announced the “total closure” of bars and restaurants from Saturday in the metropolis of Aix-Marseille and in Guadeloupe, both classified as “maximum alert zones”, in order to stem the epidemic of Covid-19.

“It's a collective punishment!”, Immediately reacted on Twitter Renaud Muselier, president (LR) of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region.

Forty-five minutes later, it was the turn of the mayor (EELV) of Marseille, Michèle Rubirola, to express his “astonishment” and his “anger” at the government's decision for which, she said. , “The City of Marseille was not consulted.”

This message from the Marseille councilor earned him a response, an hour later, from the Minister of Health.

Olivier Véran then put forward decisions which “aim precisely to protect (the Marseillais) while all the health indicators are very degraded”.

The minister also specified that he “discussed” this subject on Wednesday afternoon “with (the) 1st deputy and the president @RenaudMuselier”.

Response from both parties within the next half hour.

“A phone call is not a consultation, @olivierveran, when the call is made at 6.30pm for an intervention at 7pm, in a rush”, answers Renaud Muselier.


Minister, you lose your sense of reality.

I called you because you did not bother to do so, ”adds Benoît Payan, the first deputy at the town hall of Marseille.

"The principle of responsibility must prevail"

Since this muscular exchange, Wednesday evening, the Marseilles elected officials did not take off.

Thursday morning, she even clarified by the voice of Benoît Payan.

"Once again, our territory is being singled out," he protested, denouncing an "affront" after the announcement "without consultation" of "incredible restrictions".

The first deputy asked the government “10 days before the implementation of new measures” in the Marseille city.

At the same time, the Minister of Health justified the decisions taken for the metropolis of Aix-Marseille and for Guadeloupe.

“To consult does not necessarily mean to come to an agreement, at a certain moment the principle of responsibility must prevail when it is necessary to protect the lives of people, when it is necessary to take measures - even difficult ones - to avoid that there are people who are dying, ”said Olivier Véran during his hearing on Thursday morning by the Senate committee of inquiry into the health crisis.

The anger of Marseille elected officials is spreading like wildfire to professionals affected by the “total closure” from Saturday - only establishments open to the public and having a strict protocol will be able to remain open, such as theaters, museums and cinemas.

"I do not want our establishments to be closed, I want the State to exercise the controls it is supposed to do and only close those who do not comply with health measures", told AFP Bernard Marty, president of Umih des Bouches-du-Rhône, the leading employers' union of cafes, hotels, restaurants.

"Enough of the contradictory cookie-cutter decisions, enough of these behaviors which make us no longer understand anything," he added, before a meeting in the prefecture on Thursday at the end of the day. -midday.

"I want to warn him that Marseille will experience insurrectional moments," he further warned, while some restaurateurs were already suggesting that they would not respect the obligation to close announced Wednesday by Olivier Véran.

Restaurateurs, cafetiers and more generally actors of the Marseille economic world plan to gather on Friday morning to protest against these new local measures, with the slogan: "No to economic reconfinement".

With AFP

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