The mayor and traders announced actions to improve the image of the city centre after the protests …
“A wonderful location, needing exceptional measures.” The Socialist mayor of Nantes, Johanna Rolland, announced last Friday a series of actions to support the Nantes traders and enhance the attractiveness of the city centre regularly hit by violent protests for the last three months against the Labour Law.
Great day 18th June
Most of the measures will focus on a “great day of action” called “Nantes at heart” which takes place this Saturday, 18th June. All day transit of the TAN will be free, 1 hour of parking in underground car parks will be offered an extra hour of parking to vehicles carrying more than three people, and there are 1,500 gift vouchers to be won for TAN subscribers (registration required) ..
Entertainment is also provided: distribution of goodies, tastings and concerts in bars and restaurants. A magic show at Place Royale and snacks for children at Mercœur street. There will be activities at Pommeraye passages and an extra 200 chairs are to be spread out in the very centre of town. The majority of bank branches have also pledged to withdraw for the day, protective fences and screens that protect their windows for several weeks.
“Customers must return”
“After these complicated times, we must send a strong signal to Nantais: the city centre is alive and belongs to all, not a small violent minority” says Johanna Rolland.
“Our businesses are experiencing significant declines in activity, it will necessarily have an impact in the coming months. We need customers coming back without fear, “says Joel Fourny, President of the Chamber of Trades and Crafts .
The spider in the center on July 8
After this day of 18 June, Nantes metropolis also undertakes to exempt for a month, the cafes and restaurants affected by the events (hypercentre Madeleine-Champs de Mars, Quai de la Fosse, Léon Bureau) paying their fee on the terraces.
Above all, to attract more visitors, the city announced that the giant spider of the company Les Machines will stroll around in the city centre on Friday, 8th July. The route has yet to be defined. The Imposing articulated mechanical creature, the giant spider will also be visible from July 9th to 10th and from 22nd to 24th July on the Building of the park site on the island of Nantes.
The “scoops” according to opposition
The cost of this action plan (coming of spider included) to the city of Nantes amounts to 300,000 euros. The leader of the Nantes municipal opposition, Laurence Garnier (LR), has said “the amounts are insufficient.”
The mayor of Rennes, the city is also very touched by the repeated events and incidents against the Labour Law, had announced in on May 25th a plan of action for nearly 400,000 euros to support the traders.