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Decrease in Funds from the State: Mayors Take to the Streets

Mayors to take to the streets in protest
Similar protest of mayors in Clamecy (Nièvre), in March 2008. – JEFF PACHOUD / AFP

Of all political parties, Mayors called for a day of action on Saturday …

“Stop the sharp decline in state support,” is one of their slogans. The French mayors are mobilizing this Saturday to alert citizens about the consequences of the decline in state grants to local governments, which worsens their financial difficulties and puts, according to them, threatens public services.

Given the magnitude of the feeling amongst the mayors, Francois Hollande on Friday called for “all public” to “save money”. “I have myself been Mayor, president of a General Council, and I know what it is like to lead a country with means that are necessarily limited”, said the head of state.

Elected officials from all political trends, called for the day of action at the invitation of the Association of Mayors of France (AMF).  For the AMF and the main associations of the communal block, there is “urgency to revise the schedule” and the volume of the effort required of Commons.

Started in 2014, lower provisions by 2017 will represent a shortfall of 15.8 billion for municipalities.

“A reduction of € 28 per capita on average”

“This amputation is inequitable, unsustainable for municipalities and  will have serious consequences on economic activity in the territories,” warns François Baroin (Republicans), the chairman of the AMF.

With the forthcoming regional elections, the grumbling of the local elected officials falls badly for the government, which has partially responded to their concerns by announcing the creation of a fund with a billion Euros to support investment projects that authorities fail to finance – including 500 million in rural areas.

Marylise lebranchu, Minister of Decentralization, said for her part that the decline of the DGF (Block grant of operation) accounts for  “a decrease of 1.84% of their operating revenue each year, averaging 28 euros per capita. ”

The National Federation of Socialist and Republican Elected Representatives (FNESR) denounced Nicolas Sarkozy and the right. “Let us not be fooled by the intentions of the opposition who wish to make this gathering a government challenge day,” wrote François Rebsamen, PS mayor of Dijon.  None of the great socialist representatives should participate in these events.

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