Politics Why is Macron so eagerly awaited with his checkbook in Marseille?

DECRYPTION In a city where delays are piling up, and where finances are at their lowest, a helping hand from the state is expected like the messiah

The rumor of a visit has been roaring in Marseille’s alcoves for months. The Elysee did not send the confirmation until the end of last week. From this Wednesday, the President of the Republic arrives in the Marseille city for a
three day trip. Certainly,
Emmanuel Macron chose this date to attend the opening of the World Conservation Congress this Friday.

But the head of state also knows, if not above all, that Marseille politicians are impatiently waiting for him to take out the checkbook. All in order to unblock situations which, in Marseille, are bogged down and seem hopeless. 20 minutes takes stock

The worrying financial situation of the city has been known for several months. In August 2020, a report from the regional chamber of accounts already warned of a “debt wall” of 1.8 billion euros in 2017. Reduced to the number of inhabitants, this Marseille debt is, according to the same report, “Twice as high as the average for cities of comparable size”.

The fault, according to the CRC, in a questionable management by majority of Jean-Claude Gaudin, in particular in the management of the personnel, at the heart of an investigation of the national financial prosecutor’s office. Thus, according to the CRC report, no less than 61 million euros could have been saved by better personnel management

When presenting the conclusions of the audit commissioned by the new majority, Benoît Payan made a clear statement last February: “The coffers are empty. The main black spot pointed out by the audit, carried out by the Deloitte firm, concerns the city’s very limited investment capacity, weighed down by a debt estimated at the end of 2020 at 1.54 billion euros. At the end of 2019, according to the audit, the city only had 13 million euros in its coffers to invest – even negative self-financing capacity, at -20 million euros, in the 2020 budget, according to Joël Canicave .

And the new municipality cannot, for the moment, count on taxes in one of the poorest cities in France. Indeed, at present, in Marseille, 53% of households are tax-free. The tax capacity per capita amounts to only 900 euros compared to 1,112 euros in Nice or 1,352 euros. A situation that is likely to worsen with the disappearance of the housing tax scheduled for 2023.

This was the main campaign promise of the Marseillais Spring during the municipal elections. The new left-wing municipality of Marseille has made the rehabilitation of the city’s degraded schools one of the priorities of its mandate. But the realization of such a promise is slipping away. “The subject has been on the table for a year, but nothing has really been set in motion,” regrets Séverine Gil, president of the MPE 13 parents’ association.

A rehabilitation program for five school groups (11 schools) for 85 million euros, 90% funded by the ANRU (Regional Urban Renewal Agency), was voted in early April in its first budget. But in total, no less than 200 of the city’s 472 schools have been listed as having to integrate a major school renovation plan, which the new municipality has been working on since taking office. Last June, the mayor of Marseille mentioned the sum of one billion euros for the first ten years necessary for the completion of this “long-term” plan.

“Schools are in an absolute emergency situation, others in an emergency situation, others in critical situation, others still to be partially renovated, others to be built or rebuilt”, then detailed Benoît Payan. To do this, the mayor had established contacts with the Elysée, but also Matignon, to “manufacture a tool that allows a real renovation of schools. “

The second largest city in France has only two metro lines, inaugurated in the 1970s, which cover only a tiny part of the city. Thus, according to a study by the public and rail transport union, Marseille has 1,129 kilometers of lines, all modes of transport combined, or two months in Lyon. Subways and trams are totally absent from certain neighborhoods, particularly in the northern neighborhoods, but also certain economic areas, such as Valentine. A deficit which has very concrete and worrying consequences. In 2019, according to an estimate made by the majority then carried by Jean-Claude Gaudin, the lack of public transport in Marseille would be at the origin of 3% of unemployment, already above the national average.

Projects are for the moment in the drawers … but with very distant deadlines due again, according to local politicians, to a budget that is too low to face the challenge. In an interview with 20 Minutes at the beginning of 2021, the LR president of the metropolis Martine Vassal did not hide counting on a significant financial boost from the State to “catch up, as part of the relaunch “. “If we have faster funding, we will do transport much faster,” she said. We will continue to make progress on impact studies. The metro extension will see the light of day in 2030. That’s a long way! “

Last spring, when the arrival of Emmanuel Macron in Marseille was already being prepared, the issue was not really on the agenda. But since then, the Phocaean city, plagued by endless network wars against a background of drug trafficking, has gone through a murderous summer as it has rarely known. No less than twelve people have died since June 15 in settlements.

“Since the beginning of the year, we have seen that these eight months have been split in two, recently analyzed Marseille prosecutor Dominique Laurens at a press conference on the subject. Over the first six months, we did not know much about settling scores. There has been an acceleration from June 15, we note an explosion in the number of cases in the space of two months “.

The first police reinforcement of 300 police officers in three years was granted by the Interior Ministry, a few months after the appointment of a new police chief who had made “shelling” of trafficking her main task. An effort deemed insufficient by the mayor of Marseille Benoît Payan, who calls for no less than 900 additional police officers in Marseille.

08/29/21 | SOCCER

08/29/21 | SOCCER

08/28/21 | REPORTING

08/29/21 | MISCELLANEOUS FACTS

08/29/21 | REPORTING

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