It is a satisfactory essment that the Elysée draws up of the “Marseille en grand” plan, announced a year and a half ago to “catch up with the city” and “transform people’s lives there”. “We have kept our commitments and launched 90% of the projects announced”, underlines the Presidency of the Republic, before Emmanuel Macron’s three-day trip to Marseille from this Monday.
A total of €5 billion has been committed for schools, transport, security, housing, public services and business creation. By leverage, they should generate 15 billion euros of public investment.
Once his victory was in his pocket at the end of 2020, the various left-wing mayor of the city, Benoît Payan, had made the renovation of the school park the priority of his mandate. But no question of the 1 billion public-private partnership wanted by his predecessor Jean-Claude Gaudin, challenged by justice. The state was called in to help. It released 400 million euros in subsidies and a loan guarantee of 650 million, a first for a site reserved for the exclusive competence of the municipalities.
Since then, a public company owned equally by the State and the city was created in early 2022. It provides for the reconstruction or renovation of 188 schools (out of 470) by 2030. To date, work has started in 19 of them, mainly in the northern districts which are among the most disadvantaged populations in the city, and studies have been launched for 29 others. “It’s a difficult program, which must be articulated with that of urban renewal”, defends the Elysée to explain the delay in ignition denounced by the municipal opposition. “Several of the announced renovations were scheduled under the previous municipality”, recalls in “La Provence” the Renaissance deputy Lionel Royer-Perreaut, former mayor of the 5th sector.
This school plan is accompanied by a experimental apparatus, which must make Marseille establishments the laboratories of a new pedagogy, intended to reinforce the learning of fundamentals in working-cl neighborhoods. They were to be 50. In the end, 82 heads of establishments joined this educational project – the vast majority in priority education areas – despite the challenge of teachers’ unions. “Marseille has shown its ability to adapt schools to territories and audiences”, underlined the rector Bernard Beignier, during his back-to-school press conference last January.
Wind up, the majority union SNUipp-FSU denounces “an attack on the principle of equality of means of the republican school”, according to its departmental secretary, Virginie Akliouat. She fears in particular that the allocation of additional resources to adhering establishments creates “a two-speed school”: “Parents of students may be tempted to circumvent the school map so that their children benefit from better learning conditions”, warns -She. Deaf to union discontent, Emmanuel Macron announced extending the device to the whole territory.
More than 500 companies created
The other components of the large Marseille plan are in keeping, according to the Elysée. In the field of transport, 15 mobility projects have been launched by the metropolis (extension of the tramway, BHNS, etc.) for a total of 1 billion euros. In security, there was the ignment of 330 new police officers, a new CRS company, the deployment of video surveillance cameras (55 out of the 500 planned) and the construction of a new police station (planned for 2027 ).
Visiting Marseille for three days, Emmanuel Macron will launch the second act of this program. In Benoît Payan’s line of sight are the port square in the city and strengthening the health component.