Behind the announcement of the Prime Minister hides the decision of the President. Emmanuel Macron wants to appear as one who takes the most sensitive polemics head on.
There is a pilot on the plane. Emmanuel Macron in this case who, after a chaotic flight of nearly fifty years, just tried to land without too much trouble the record of the airport of Notre-Dame-des-Landes. But rather than announce himself the maneuver, it is his co-pilot Édouard Philippe whom he dispatched. "The conditions are not met to carry out the project of Notre-Dame-des-Landes," said the Prime Minister, who announced in the wake of the abandonment of this "airport division".
Exit the local referendum that led to the victory of the supporters of the project. Also excludes 179 favorable court decisions. Exit again the declaration of public utility validated in 2008 by the Council of State. Exit finally the declarations favorable to the airport pronounced by Macron during the presidential campaign. "Such a project can not be done in a context of exacerbated opposition between two almost equal parts of the population", justified Édouard Philippe after the Council of Ministers.
Make a decision whatever it is
The Prime Minister was speaking from the Elysee, flanked by members of his government who have worked on the issue, such as the Minister of Ecology Nicholas Hulot and the Minister of the Interior Gérard Collomb. But make no mistake: it was the head of state who was in charge. Official version: it is Monday that the final arbitration was taken, in the office of the president, during a tête-à-tête with his prime minister. The executive had been saying it for weeks: in this explosive file, there was no good solution. One thing counted, in fact: to decide. To take the most sensitive polemics head-on is the theme of Emmanuel Macron's week. Farm, Wednesday, in Calais on his asylum bill and immigration; expected, Thursday, on the issue of the closure of the nuclear power plant Fessenheim. A promise of François Hollande, remained a dead letter. The government sends its Secretary of State Sebastien Lecornu on the spot, for a mission of three days to consider the conditions of a dismantling of the reactors and the reclassification of the workers of the site.
A victory for Hulot
A sequence that also illustrates the government's ability to let nothing filter the debates that drive it. As lively as they may be. On Wednesday, five of them took the floor during the discussion part of the Council of Ministers this time devoted to Notre-Dame-des-Landes. But in the end, the Foreign Minister Jean-Yves le Drian, fierce supporter of the airport of Notre-Dame-des-Landes and emblematic president of Britain until 2017 has not made a reason for it. break. In a statement, he said "regret this situation" while affirming the "understand" and "respect".
Conversely, the ecologist Nicolas Hulot did not pay into the triumphalism, merely staring at the glass conservatory of the Élysée winter garden, while the Prime Minister was speaking. "The maintenance of Hulot in the government will have cost a billion euros, between compensation to Vinci and the expansion of the Nantes Atlantique airport, "a ministerial advisor grumbled. For the former TV host, undermined by moods, this is a first political victory.
Nevertheless, the abandonment of the project is not without risks. First of all, because it restores oxygen to a line that was sorely lacking. Then, because it offers the image of a president who "capitulated", in the words of the chairman of the LR group in the Senate Bruno Retailleau, facing the resistance of a few hundred zadistes. Militants who celebrated the event by making the caterpillar at the top of the watchtower built to watch for the arrival of the police. Zadists who have already announced, at a press conference, that they rejected the principle of expulsions announced by the government.
- NDDL: after the abandonment of the project, what future for the zadistes?
- Notre-Dame-des-Landes: "a decision of the State is too late"