In Occitania, mayors come together to share their “passion”, their “isolation” and “rising violence”


Carole Delga, president of the Occitanie region, during the meetings of the mayors of Occitanie, in Toulouse, on May 11, 2023.

“We were expecting a big mass, it was rather interesting. » For Michel Garcia, socialist mayor of Matemale, a small town in the Pyrénées-Orientales, the day of May 9 in Montpellier went well, and was fruitful. Two days later, in Toulouse, Vincent Terrail-Novès, the (Renaissance) mayor of Balma, in Haute-Garonne, judged the initiative “very smart” and “innovative”. At the invitation of Carole Delga, socialist president of the Occitanie region, 2,000 mayors or their deputies, out of the 4,500 in the region, responded to these first “meetings of mayors of Occitanie”. “In a particular context marked by Covid-19, pension reform, war, or inflation, I wanted this direct dialogue to talk about our actions with you”commented Delga, opening the first day, in Montpellier.

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On the program: speech by the president of the region in the morning, word given to the room and lighting by political scientist Chloé Morin, before the traditional big meal around regional products. Then, in the afternoon, stroll through a large “services village” to allow elected officials to meet technicians on topics as vast as financing, equipment, mobility, health or even renewable energies. All the regional competences from which the municipalities, through financial or technical aid, can benefit.

With six million inhabitants, Occitania is defined as a whole made up of a long strip of coastline as far as Spain, the Pyrenees chain, and two large metropolises shading a multitude of small towns. rural. “We are also the most landlocked region in terms of transport, and the one which, in 2050, will have experienced the highest demographic increase”, insists Carole Delga. She therefore listed at length the existing devices “to create 25,000 jobs a year” or to face a “climate change that has the greatest impact on us”.

“Caught in a vice”

In Montpellier, in the heart of the large Arena room, the mayors were able to speak. And the questions came up, very varied: “What are you doing to help us recruit town clerks? » “How do we adapt the coastal law to the installation of photovoltaic panels? » The Decazeville Hospital (Aveyron) will it close? » Mme Delga answered, point by point.

In Villeneuve-lès-Maguelone (Hérault), the mayor, Véronique Négret (various left), is struggling to “recruit municipal police” for its 10,000 inhabitants. That of Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert (Hérault), Robert Siegel (various left), would like to receive more subsidies for the heritage of its 250 fellow citizens. In Mende (Lozère), the socialist Laurent Suau is worried about the objective of “zero net artificialization” of land by 2050.

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