In Paris, environmentalists raise their voices against Anne Hidalgo

Paris mayor and Socialist Party presidential candidate Anne Hidalgo delivers a speech during a campaign rally in Toulouse on March 26, 2022.

No need to wait for the first round. Anne Hidalgo (Socialist Party, PS) has little chance of entering the Elysée. Anticipating his return to city hall after a disastrous campaign, his environmental allies in Paris are already raising their voices. Faced with a weakened mayor, they project themselves into the rest of the mandate and want to have more influence on the policy carried out. Witness, their ten “alert points” on town planning, presented on Monday March 28 at an exceptional press conference, the first held outside the Town Hall since the municipal elections.

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“It is time to move forward, to show that beyond the beautiful declarations we keep the promises of transformation of Paris on which we were elected”, says Emile Meunier, one of the members of Europe Ecologie-Les Verts (EELV) at the Council of Paris. In their eyes, the socialists who dominate the municipal majority are not going fast enough or far enough. In particular on urban development, a sensitive file among all.

On the occasion of the revision of the local urban plan, the town hall presented its first ideas on the subject. “Unfortunately, the preliminary draft does not reflect sufficient ambition in terms of ecology, preservation of health and adaptation to climate change”, consider the environmentalists. For them, we must abandon the towers, cap new buildings at 37 meters, “strongly limit” the construction of offices and private housing, prohibit bridge buildings over the ring road and the Seine, increase the number of open spaces, protect trees, etc. More radical measures than those envisaged by the Socialists.

“The majority is solid”

For months, an astonishing calm reigned at the Paris City Hall. Anne Hidalgo has delegated to her first deputy (PS), Emmanuel Grégoire, the daily management of the capital, and, from crack to Notre-Dame, the subjects likely to pose a problem for the Council of Paris have been cleared upstream, or pushed back see you later. No wave in the middle of the election campaign! But the ten “alert points” ecologists prove it: calm is precarious. Of those who sometimes precede the storm. The presidential parenthesis closed, Mme Hidalgo is expected at the turn, by his allies as well as by his opponents.

Everyone is aware of this: the bad score promised to the mayor at the national level can only weaken her in Paris, especially if it is confirmed in her own city. “When we say that we work in the Hidalgo team, we are already answered: “condolences”, notes an elected official. So it’s not going to get better. » Can an unloved mayor continue to manage her municipality effectively?

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