Leaving the Old Port at the end of the afternoon, the few dozen demonstrators headed for the Mucem, where Emmanuel Macron was to deliver a speech at the start of the evening at the end of the second day of his visit to Marseille. On their banners, anti-Macron slogans. But a large police force forced them to turn around before they dispersed in the streets of Marseille. No question of disturbing the strict scheduling of the Head of State’s visit to Marseille.
After a first day devoted to very serious problem of insecurity in Marseille , the second took place in a more optimistic tone. From an establishment in La Castellane in the northern districts of Marseille, Emmanuel Macron took stock of the vast plan to renovate schools in the city, undermined by decades of underinvestment. He took the opportunity to launch the school rhythms project and outline the new school he wants to set up.
At his side, the Ministers of Education, Pap Ndiaye and of the city Olivier Klein, as well as the mayor of the city Benoît Payan. “If I had followed the clical rhythm, it would have taken two centuries to renovate the schools”, welcomes the city councilor. If Benoît Payan presents himself as a political opponent of Emmanuel Macron, with whom relations are sometimes complex, he can only welcome the attention that the president pays to the city he has led since 2020. the only non-Marseillais who understands Marseille”, he slips to journalists in the courtyard of the small school in the Castellane district, which had as a pupil the hero of the district, Zinédine Zidane.
240 million for hospitals
Later, after a lunch with the boss of CMA-CGM, Rodolphe Saade , Emmanuel Macron’s tour continues at the Lavéran army training hospital. In front of the staff of the hospital which receives the wounded soldiers, in particular those in external operations, Emmanuel Macron announces an extension of 260 million euros for the hospitals of the city, whose situation is “critical”, and the creation of a new military hospital. Wednesday evening, new theme. He reveals in the columns of the daily “La Provence” a rescue plan for degraded condominiums, in a city undermined by the unsanitary housing which sometimes kills .
“For four of them, we are going to carry out operations to requalify degraded condominiums of national interest to mobilize exceptional means of intervention and better fight against slum landlords. There is an emergency, ”he explains to the Marseille daily. In Marseille, the number of substandard housing is estimated at 40,000. Housing will be one of the main themes of the third day of his visit, Wednesday 28 June.
If Emmanuel Macron’s visit for stage 2 of the “Marseille en grand” plan launched in September 2021 was mainly devoted to monitoring urgent files, he also wanted to be more forward-looking.
From Fort Saint-Jean, connected to the Mucem by a footbridge, he spoke about his vision of the city. In front of an audience of around 300 guests, Emmanuel Macron called the “Mediterranean destiny” of Marseille, a city which must “reconcile” with the sea. “We can recapture this Mediterranean destiny much more strongly. It’s an absolutely obvious project with an economic and ecological vocation,” he says as the night takes possession of Fort Saint-Jean.
Emmanuel Macron wants an electrified port (the project has already been launched) and carbon-free. He also wants a port that will allow the development of rail and river transport.
Incidentally, while several repressed demonstrators claimed to be earth uprisings a collective whose dissolution the government announced last week, Emmanuel Macron defended, once again, his vision of ecology, around “progress and solutions”.
Culture and digital
That’s not all. The Head of State also mentioned the digital destiny of Marseille, which he wants to make a “European digital capital”. It also wishes to rebuild ties with the other shores of the Mediterranean and has announced, for 2026, a “Mediterranean season” which will bring all the initiatives taken to a close.
Emmanuel Macron’s speech ended on culture. Welcoming the 10th anniversary of the Mucem, which he sees as a “link between the city and the sea”, he hoped that the young Marseilles museum could benefit from the works of the permanent collections of the Louvre and Beaubourg, in particular during the closure of the latter during its long renovation. After having mentioned the writer and Nobel Prize for Literature Albert Camus, Emmanuel Macron wants to think big and relaunch the “destiny of a city which is reconciled with itself because it is reopening to the Mediterranean”.