POLICY – It almost always works. Emmanuel Macron defended his record on Thursday, November 18, in front of several thousand mayors meeting in congress at the Porte de Versailles, in Paris, promising them “more deconcentration” in the future.
The opportunity for the Head of State to return to the complex relations he has been able to maintain with them since the start of his five-year term, while taking shelter behind the shadow of General de Gaulle. Why him? Because the man of June 18 is the only president of the Fifth Republic, with Emmanuel Macron, not to have occupied a council chair before reaching the supreme office.
A way above all to sweep away the criticisms for the current tenant of the Élysée Palace, often attacked for his lack of anchoring, and his inexperience in local politics.
Macron speaks of “misunderstandings”
“There may have been some misunderstandings at the beginning, there may have been some prejudices. I assume not to have been mayor ”, he launched, in the first minutes of his speech, as you can see below from 12 minutes, after a five-year term enamelled with tensions but in a less stormy atmosphere than during his first intervention in 2017 where he had been whistled by elected officials ulcerated by the abolition of the housing tax.
Emmanuel Macron had also boycotted the congress the following year, despite his promise to speak there each year.
Referring to this reproach made to him for being “one of the only presidents of the Fifth Republic not to have been mayor”, he replied: “I understood that we honored General de Gaulle a lot lately. . He may have had the same defect. ”
But “I hope you discovered (…) that I liked your action”, he continued, recalling his hours of questions and answers with mayors during the great debate during the waistcoat crisis yellow. The starting point of a slow forced reconciliation against the backdrop of a health crisis.
The Head of State then defended point by point his choices, from the abolition of the housing tax to actions in favor of “city centers”, once again ensuring that he had preserved the resources of the municipalities, one of the points friction with AMF leaders. “The housing tax was a tax for the middle classes, bad for small towns, unfair”, he pleaded, while David Lisnard had denounced, earlier, “the last stage of the total destabilization of our local tax system ”.
Critics of Lisnard, the new boss
Newly elected at the head of the AMF, the mayor (Les Républicains) of Cannes did not mince words in his closing speech, deploring, among other things, the “extreme centralization” of the management of the Covid-19 by the executive.
“The first observation that we make is that of extreme centralization – for many of us it was a confirmation – of decisions, including sometimes to the detriment of the decentralized State itself”, thus launched the councilor, who succeeded, the day before, François Baroin as president of the powerful association.
“How many prefects – I have sometimes been told even ministers – have discovered the decisions at the same time as us”, he quipped, in an implicit allusion to the measures announced by the president during his televised speeches, which “Resulted in real operational difficulties”.
For his part, the first vice-president, the socialist André Laignel, read in front of the head of state a resolution approved “unanimously” by the new office of the association, which made a very negative assessment of the five-year term from the mayors’ point of view. “Dialogue, negotiation, trust: is that too much to ask? And yet this is what we have not been able to have these last four years ”, writes the text, in a tone which characterizes these delicate relations for four years.
See also on The HuffPost: Emmanuel Macron in tears at the arrival of Hubert Germain’s coffin at Mont-Valérien
Source: Le Huffington Post by www.huffingtonpost.fr.
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