Marseille occupies a special place in the heart and political narrative of Emmanuel Macron. By presenting the “Marseille in a big way” map in September 2021, he had also pre-launched his presidential campaign with a view to his re-election, making the city of Marseille a laboratory of its desire for transformation . He had stood there alone big meeting of his campaign between the two presidential rounds.
“In 2016, the Macronie laboratory was Lyon. Now it’s Marseille”, welcomes Christophe Castaner, former Minister of the Interior and close to the President of the Republic. The Head of State is returning from this Monday to the Bouches-du-Rhône prefecture for a three-day visit, an unprecedented length for a trip to France.
The opportunity to take stock of the “Marseille en grand” plan, this visit will also mark the end of the so-called hundred-day period. It was launched by the Head of State at the end of the pension reform to return to contact with the country and (re)start a second term with difficulty since his re-election in April 2022. Since mid-April and the promulgation of the pension reform, Emmanuel Macron has multiplied the trips , talked again about climate, sovereignty or attractiveness. The list is not exhaustive.
Alongside a government that has emerged weakened by the pension reform, whose fate hangs in the balance of a next redesign that everyone is waiting for in the coming days, the President of the Republic has returned to the front line, as he did the day after the yellow vests crisis in 2019 with the great debate. In Marseille, Emmanuel Macron therefore comes to close a political cycle. “He likes contact with the French and has managed to reconnect with them. There is more serenity at home, ”says a minister. The tremor in his favor in the opinion polls reures the Elysée.
If the concerts of saucepans welcoming him at each trip weaken in intensity, the tension against him remains palpable. Last week, during the “Global Citizen” concert organized in Paris on the occasion of the summit on the global financial pact, Emmanuel Macron, absent, was copiously hissed when his name was mentioned by the Prime Minister of Barbados. “Macron resignation” also flared up.
In Marseille, Emmanuel Macron knows he is eagerly awaited. If his pion for the city, and its football club, is displayed, the demand for results from elected officials and residents is even more so. Even among his political opponents like the city’s mayor, Benoit Payan, elected officials appreciate Emmanuel Macron’s attention. “I think it’s a city he’s loved for a long time. Our political differences are clear but I don’t want to take that away from him,” the mayor said in the columns of “Liberation”.
Emmanuel Macron comes to spend three days to talk about school, transport, housing, security and even culture. The idea is to take stock of all the projects launched almost two years ago. The list is long. “It’s good to emphasize like that because it’s a very neglected city”, welcomes a Renaissance deputy.
The visit will be Emmanuel Macron’s last major meeting in contact with the French before the summer break. After Marseille, he will continue with a European Council and a state visit to Berlin. The window of the reshuffle is expected in stride, unless the President of the Republic – he is customary to the fact – decides to take his time. In Marseille, Emmanuel Macron will be accompanied by several ministers such as Gérald Darmanin (Interior) or Clément Beaune (Transport). A tradition for a presidential trip, but which will take on greater significance this time around.