Faced with crises, the growing concern of the mayors of France

Tensions are mounting for mayors. This is revealed by the survey carried out by the Center for Political Research of Sciences Po (Cevipof) for the Association of Mayors of France (AMF), whose The world deliver the results. Sent to the 34,950 mayors of the country, filled in online from October 7 to November 8, it received 3,696 complete responses (4,654 with partial forms), and is representative of French municipalities, indicates Cevipof, even if a little less mayors of very large cities responded.

Of course, the tension on energy prices, which considerably increases the bills of many communities, is of great concern to the mayors: 35% of them say they are very concerned and 42% concerned. Admittedly, they recognize that the financial situation of their municipality is healthy (29.8%) or rather healthy (48.3%). But this assessment is much less positive than before, highlighting a gradual deterioration since 2019. The rates were then respectively 49.2% and 39.6%. Moreover, today, 4.4% even consider the situation of their finances to be critical.

To cope, mayors plan to reduce the intensity or amplitude of public lighting (84%), heating in public buildings (78%), switching off lighting at night (70%) or reduce Christmas decorations (64%). And, for the municipalities concerned (half of respondents), to lower the heating of sports facilities (86%).

Read also: Mayors find the draft budget of local authorities “calamitous”

On the other hand, if half of the elected representatives questioned will cut in the purchase of supplies and services, it is only possible to increase local taxes for a minority of them (18%). And only 15% plan to help the most vulnerable households. Perhaps they consider that the state mechanisms already provide for this.

Democratic tension

One of the consequences of this crisis is that it tends to hamper mayors in their desire to lead the energy transition: 42.7% declare, in fact, that they will not be able to accelerate their projects for lack of means.

Another source of concern, and not the least: the democratic tension. “Like many well-established democraciesobserves Martial Foucault, professor and director of Cevipof, France has been experiencing for several years an acceleration of violent political debates where the repeated irruption of controversies and the culture of clash amplified by the power of social networks have reinforced the polarization of political opinions. »

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