According to the Elysée, Emmanuel Macron had made only one promise to the Marseillais: to return. The Head of State will therefore be able to say that he has kept his word at the end of his three-day visit, from Monday June 26 to Wednesday June 28, planned in the second city of France. An unusually long trip for the President of the Republic, presented as the“act II” of his 2021 trip, which had already stretched from 1er to September 3. At the time, he wanted to produce a “electroshock” in the city of Marseille by launching the plan called “Marseille en grand”.
Mr. Macron had announced a series of measures to improve the structural difficulties of one of the “poorest and most vibrant cities” of France, in his words, in several areas: school, security, housing or transport. A plan with a lot of public money: 5 billion euros have been distributed, allowing an overall investment of 15 billion, thanks to joint funding from local authorities.
Marseilles, long abandoned by the State, was suddenly the object of all consideration. “The coming decade will transform Marseille and make it a capital of the Mediterranean. Independently of political life, I am sure that something will happen in Marseille because the conditions for the possibility of a reinvention of the place and a reappropriation are there”ignited the Head of State in the magazine Zadig in May 2021, saying love “infinitely” the city.
Two years later, it is a question of raising the copies. According to the Elysée, “the State is there for 90% of the projects undertaken”. But “you have to be careful and humble”. Accompanied by eight members of the government – including the Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin, the Keeper of the Seals, Eric Dupond-Moretti, the Minister of Transport, Clément Beaune, and that of Housing, Olivier Klein -, Emmanuel Macron will begin his stay by the most burning subject: that of safety.
After a stint at the Evêché, the Marseille police station, he will go to the site of the Baumettes 3 prison, whose renovation is due to be completed in 2025, then will survey the neighborhoods bruised by drug trafficking and account settlements. Although the workforce has been reinforced with some 300 additional police officers, a third company of CRS and the creation of groups from the Anti-Narcotics Office (OFAST), the gang war continues to rage, giving Marseille the appearance it had in Jacques Deray’s film, Borsalino. The settling of accounts – most often by gunfire – has already claimed 23 victims since the beginning of the year, including a person lynched to death and another found in the trunk of a burnt-out car.
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