PoliticsIn the heart of summer, the government mobilized in...

In the heart of summer, the government mobilized in the face of fires and criticism


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Fireproof Executive. Since the beginning of the summer, the French territory has been on fire. More than 40,000 hectares have already burned this year according to civil security, and even 50,000 according to European satellite data. This is three times the annual average of the last ten years. Major fires resumed on Tuesday in Gironde and in the Landes, burning 7,400 ha of surfaces and leading to the evacuation of 10,000 people. Elisabeth Borne was this Thursday on the fire front with the Minister of the Interior Gérald Darmanin. Criticized on the lack of means to control and stop the fires, the government wishes to show its “total” mobilization.

“We must act at all levels, the whole government is mobilized”

The Prime Minister was therefore on the ground, this Thursday, in Hostens (Gironde) to defend the more than 1,000 firefighters and the aerial device deployed against the flames. “When the President of the Republic came here in July, we had 2 water bomber helicopters, we have nine today, and we will be at eleven at the end of the week. So I can assure you, we have never mobilized so many air resources to fight the fire, ”assured Elisabeth Borne in front of the television cameras. Gérald Darmanin launched a little earlier a “call to public companies and employers” to allow volunteer firefighters to join “their barracks as soon as possible”.

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From Fort Brégançon, Emmanuel Macron for his part thanked in a tweet the “European solidarity”, while 361 European firefighters and several machines were on their way to the south-west of France. A way to show that up to the highest peak of the state, and despite the holidays, the entire executive is on the bridge. “We must act on all levels, the whole government is mobilized,” added the head of government on Thursday.

Summer, a period often marked by controversy

This activity is not trivial because, from the Benalla affair to the lobsters of François de Rugy, the summer period has rarely brought luck to the macronists. The executive, who wants to avoid a new controversy in the heart of summer, has seen the opposition pointing out its responsibility for the crisis for several weeks. “Lack of means, lack of manpower, the firefighters are exhausted and are fighting against the fire with the little they have… Gérald Darmanin, it is imperative to upgrade their status and reintegrate the non-vaccinated! “, in particular tweeted Thursday RN deputy for Bouches-Du-Rhône Gisèle Lelouis.

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Last week, a senatorial report unveiled 70 proposals including a clear reinforcement of material and human resources, to avoid the burning of forests. The senators recommend in particular to reverse the 500 job cuts planned by 2025 at the National Forestry Office. “The government has dismantled the ONF, which nevertheless has real expertise on our dying forests. But it is the entire public service chain that is weakened, since the firefighters who are under the responsibility of communities have seen their resources reduced, ”deplores David Cormand, MEP EELV.

The opposition denounces the “climate inaction” of the government

The ecologist, like other members of the opposition, also sees it as a result of the government’s “inaction” in climate matters. “There is a more structural reason for the multiplication of these fires, which will become the norm. A single spark now causes huge fires due to drought, one of the symptoms of climate collapse. However, in terms of ecological struggle, the government has not acted anything new, ”deplores the former boss of the Greens.

Visiting Maine-et-Loire, also affected by the fires, Christophe Béchu said on Wednesday that “there will be a before and after the summer of 2022”. The Minister for Ecological Transition ensures that the approach to water and forest management will have to be rethought, referring to the national plan for adaptation to climate change put together in September. In addition, Elisabeth Borne confirmed on Thursday a reinforcement of the means of civil security, provided for in the programming law presented by Gérald Darmanin at the start of the school year.

Source: 20minutes

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