Five months after the presentation of his plan, the Prime Minister, accompanied in particular by Elisabeth Borne (Ecological transition), Christophe Castaner (Interior) and Jacqueline Gourault (Cohesion of the territories) will take stock of its implementation during this first inter-ministerial committee follow-up, with a leitmotif: “the countryside is repopulating, there is a real attractiveness of the rural world that must be supported”, dixit Matignon.

“It’s been 40 years that there has been a very transversal city policy. Basically, we are implementing a complementary policy concerning rurality, to try to correct faults and make people want to live in rurality”, summarizes with AFP Ms. Gourault.

This visit to this land traditionally irrigated by the right is also strategic less than a month from the municipal elections. It would not have been possible next week, because of the start of the reserve period imposed on the government.


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Among the measures put forward, the development of the project led by the social economy and solidarity group SOS aimed at creating or taking over 1,000 cafes in rural areas.

On Thursday, Edouard Philippe will assist in the signing of the contract to take over the cafe-restaurant “Le P’tit campagnard” in Girancourt, one of the first 23 selected as part of this operation. The establishment had been on sale for three years and was in danger of disappearing in this small town 15 minutes from Epinal.

In the same vein, the government has committed to allocating free, non-transferable IV licenses in municipalities with fewer than 3,500 inhabitants who do not have them. “This potentially concerns 10 to 15,000 licenses,” argues Matignon, who is awaiting the first feedback from the prefectures to assess the success of the device.

While around 20,000 municipalities do not have shops, Mr. Philippe will underline the tax exemptions voted in the 2020 budget, which are partially offset by the State.

– 280 million for fiber –

Mr. Philippe will also inaugurate an optical connection node, which allows the deployment of fiber.

If a large twenty departments are struggling to mount funding files to ensure coverage of their area, Mr. Philippe will indicate that the digital window, whose reopening after two years of fallow had been announced in October, will be increased to 280 millions of euros. The challenge is to ensure the generalization of fiber in 2025.

The government will also take stock of its “France services houses””, offering a basket of public services to respond to the feeling of abandonment of certain territories. To date, 534 have been opened, 80% of them in rural areas, with a target of 2,000 by 2022.

“We set ourselves the goal of having 900 by the end of the year, both fixed and itinerant,” said Ms. Gourault.

Regarding care, Mr. Philippe will argue that 110 salaried doctors have been recruited in rural areas since September, a figure “very encouraging” according to Matignon who has committed to 600 recruitments by 2022.

Along with Mr. Castaner, the Prime Minister will visit a gendarmerie in order to insist on the security aspects. He will be presented in particular with the Demeter devices, intended to fight against damage suffered by farmers, or R-Mess developed locally in Xertigny and designed to disseminate prevention advice on everyday media (table sets, bags of chopsticks bread…).

Finally, this trip will also be an opportunity to address the case of small rail lines, while memoranda of understanding should be signed on Thursday with the Grand Est and Center-Val de Loire regions in order to find financing solutions for the network regeneration.

The promised plan to revitalize certain small towns serving as “centralities” will for its part be revealed “after the municipal elections,” said Ms. Gourault.

© The Eastern Herald

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