what you need to know about the President’s visit

Emmanuel Macron goes on Wednesday November 23 in contact with the mayors meeting in Paris to show another “appeased” than in the past, but overshadowed by the pressing expectations of elected officials often caught in the throat by energy inflation.

This year, the Elysee says it wants to innovate: no closing speech at the 104th congress of the Association of Mayors of France (AMF) for the Head of State – he will be delivered on Thursday by Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne -, but a long “wander” several hours at their exhibition, organized together with the Porte de Versailles Exhibition Center with 1,200 exhibitors.

Read also: MAINTENANCE. Mayors in difficulty: “We won’t leave anyone on the side of the road”

It’s about meeting those who “offer innovative solutions” And “to have a much more direct and strong contact”begs the presidency.

Reception at the Elysée

Emmanuel Macron will speak before a thousand mayors, but in the evening during the now traditional reception at the Elysée. Home. The choice of staging makes some teeth shiver, especially in opposition.

“It confuses the Mayors Fair and the Agricultural Fair”deplores the socialist André Laignel, vice-president of the MFA, considering this “many colleagues” considers that “do not cross the aisle to come and see the mayors” at the congress, “it’s a bad way”.

However, it is time for reconciliation between the powerful association of elected officials and the president after an initial five-year period marked by tensions.

MFA President David Lisnard, mayor of Les Républicains in Cannes, believes Emmanuel Macron has “completely changed” of the word by opening the door to “a new chapter of decentralization”.

A “true decentralization”

In Château-Gontier, in Mayenne, the President of the Republic said he was in favor of one in October “true decentralization”accompanied by the transfer of “responsibility”from “normative power” And “financing” necessary – as opposed to “false decentralization” in force according to him so far.

At the Elysée, on the other hand, we want to see improvement with the communities ” the result “ policies launched five years ago in favor of financial support e “return of the state to the territories”rather than any turning point.

The executive highlights the opening of 2,600 houses of France Services by the end of December (one hundred more than initially promised) or the creation of 35 additional sub-prefectures, including six this year.

Even the government has multiplied its actions in recent weeks, with the announcement of a further 1.2 billion euros to local authorities in the form of a loan to accelerate the ecological transition and that of five billion by 2026 to “revitalize” the center of 234 medium-sized cities.

“To exhibit”

Above all, Elisabeth Borne announced a higher than expected increase in the global operating grant (DGF) for local authorities in 2023, to €320 million, evoking an unprecedented effort for thirteen years.

Of “the bluff”retorted David Lisnard, who sees only a modest recovery, being only the DGF “not indexed to inflation since 2010”.

Elected officials are concerned about the abolition of taxes they were levying, such as the home tax on principal residences and now the CVAE, a tax on manufacturing. Municipalities are now also tempted by a property tax increase, one of the only tax levers they still have.

Because even city councilors are faced with an explosion in energy spending, due to the increase in the cost of electricity and gas following the war in Ukraine.

The government has set up a “electric shock absorber” is one “safety net” acclaimed by the mayors, who however await details on their functioning.

Before the presidential visit, the Elysee insisted “reassure” stating that the state was good “their share” for “Help them overcome this obstacle”.

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