30 April, 2012

With chatters and a new mediator the new mayors expects to demonstrate he is in charge

Frédéric Beatse, successor of Jean-Claude Antonini as Angers mayor, resumes the chatter his predecessor took part in till his resignation. The next virtual meeting with Mr Beatse will take place on May 14th. Usually that chatter was planned every two months and the last one was realized at the beginning of November. After the latest nomination of a mediator, the mayor indicates he expects to take over.

The waiting time since the last edition could be purely a chance, but it gives the new mayor the opportunity to distance himself with Mr. Antonini. But the period is important : May 14th is just between the French presidential and legislative elections and could be an opportunity for the mayor to guide the choices of the Angers voters for the next ballot which at least one of his deputy mayor will stand for.

Credit pictures Angers city
The period is also important because of the economic and financial difficulties noticed in Angers. Technicolor, the jewel of the industrialization of the city in the 50's could disappear and if that event occurs, it will surely leave its mark in the inhabitants opinion. That depressed economic climate could also damage the finances of the city when that one is embarking on important urban projects which will need money. These chatters are therefore an important element for Mr Beatse to settle in the opinion as the right person after 2014, municipal election year.

29 April, 2012

Angers chosen by Red Bull for a night air drop last Tuesday.

Angers was, during the night of April 24th, one of the 14 French drop zones of the world operation Red Bull air drop dedicated "to help the students all over the world to revise their exams". The news was disclosed by students who found a big pallet full of Red Bull cans in a drop zone located in Belle-Beille, one of the universitarian campus, between the Iut Gea and the Sciences university. In every drop zone, pallets of Red Bull may have in fact been drop off on the ground by choppers.

Credit Pictures Red Bull
That big strongbox with hundreds of new recipes of Red Bull Editions were available for students being there by chance from 7 am. The operation was preceded by a serie of emails sent to Angers students eager to get some beverages. In less than three hours, all the cans had vanished. No explainations were given about the choice of Angers as a drop zone.

According to observers, students were happy to get these cans because the operation had not been disclosed in the city. At first, students believed that the pallet was a work of art. Little messages were also brought with the cans precising that the Austrian brand had given "wings to millions os students around the world".

28 April, 2012

Atoll wants to keep the pace of a good first attending by opening on public holidays in May

Atoll, the new commercial park located near Angers, takes care of its attendance. Recently, the complex disclosed the first figures of visitors. And the managers of the centre opened a website displaying all the informations the customers need. If the first statistics look encouraging, the team running Atoll doesn't want to loose the start of the activity. 

Atoll will be opened on two public holidays in May, the 8th (end of the second world war) and 17th (Ascension). These days are not Sundays but there are already a tear in the recent agreement between Angers public authorities and professionnals. According to their common statement, the stores, and especially the most important, must close on public holidays "dedicated to leisure and family life". The website states that the complex is nevertheless closed on Sundays.

The figures about the attending of Atoll could be satisfactory. About 800 000 persons came throughout the complex since its inauguration, on April 4th. The interest of Angers people was sure and even frenzian because of the carelesness of people parking their car (on pavements, cyclable lanes, lawns...). But they don't reveal the turnover of the centre. These figures will need more time to come.

27 April, 2012

The politicians in Angers in search of a topic for their campaign

The fate of the factory the Technicolor company owns in Angers alon the Birgé boulevard wil become a perfect symbol of the political "action". Since the shutdown of the factory is more than likely before the end of May, several candidates to the French presidency, or their grey eminences, from all political horizons, spoke about Technicolor and even announced they would come in Angers. 

But is it serious to think that, in less than a few days, a solution will emerge after 40 years of public carelessness which led to the slow, silent but deathly decline of its competitiveness? The pictures published about the visit of the adviser of François Hollande reveals the caracteristic of the political action during an electoral campaign : fastness, superficiality, expedience, wishful thinkings, empty by-words... The worse is the policians are not wrong : there is always editors who believe a candidate is able to save the factory.

The problem of Technicolor is highly representative of the desease of the French, and European industry. Because "the production in France is a topic of the campaign", noticed a trade-union leader of the Angers factory. The problem is production is just a topic. And the May 1st parade will not change the problem.

Coming in Angers : two giant outlets for a shrinking wallet

After the opening of a "commercial park" at the North West of Angers, a "sports and leisures village" will open in the South. Of course, the two complex will work on different fields, the world of home for the first, the body for the second but they will both live thanks to the money of a single wallet. And the wallet of Angers inhabitants is not indefinitely extensible.

What people are not always aware is the leisure time is a marketable time. "Enjoy sports" writes the Angers city website. Near Decathlon, Angers inhabitants will find a Monclub Futbol center, a Family Planet space or a spa. Near the widened Oxylane Village, another commercial complex will be set up dedicated to culture and leisures : the Arena. Cinemas and a giant bookstore will take place as well as a restaurant pole. That perspective will not give confidence to shops in Angers downtown.

Such projects will be fine if the finances of the Angers households were soaring. But it is not the case and even the opposite. Moreover, what will be the stance of Angers if the managers of the stores decide to open all sunday long? Because, of course, sunday is the family day for leisure. Will the rules be different at Atoll and Oxylane?

25 April, 2012

Angers and Pise "twinned towers" celebrate Europe in May.

Angers will honor Europe between April 27th and May 27th with a focus on Italia and especially Pisa a city Angers is twinned since 30 years. An exhibition will take plan on that town at the Saint-Aubin tower and another one, on the most famous tower of the world, the Pisa tower at the Municipal Institute while Lices Street, also called Corso Italia will be decorated to the Italian colors. And in the evening at the Fine Arts museum gardens, a concert will take place on movies themes.

Credit pictures Wikipedia
But is Italia the sum up of Europe, which will have its day on May 9th? Surely not. The problem is the festivities of the Europe Day do not look very important. It's true that Europe fame has a little bit faded with the economic crisis but nevertheless, many aspects of the Angers life relies on the European dimension and not only financial.

Recently, Angers city was in the headlines of the daily Le Monde because the Agriculture High School hosts since a few weeks a Spanish scientist. This one choose to leave his country because of the economic crisis ther He says he feels great in Angers, a city he doesn't want to leave. So The celebration of the Europe cannot be summed-up to the celebration of twinng.

24 April, 2012

Technicolor Angers factory relocated in Brasil : an unforeseen effect of the working time share

The news could could recall April 1st because it looks like a joke but it is not. It's even a sad news. The Technicolor site of Angers would be, according to trade unions, relocated in... Brasil! A simple closing would probably have been less painful. But, because of the costs of the manufacture of decoders in Angers which would be now to high, Technicolor has decided to go away. 

With that departure, it's a symbol of the industrial past of the city which is going to disappear. If, in the global economy, goods, machines and of course capital are mobile, employees, above all if they are senior and rooted in their city, are not so. The wind of globalisation take away their factory.

The ideological politicy of sharing of the working time, implemented in France first by the right political side, then by the left, which made it compulsory (with the support of trade unions), has an unpredicted meaning. French employees, who saw the cost of their work to soar as the working time decreased, produce goods which prices are not compatible with the purchasing power of the consumers. 

The sharing of the working time will be in fact a total transfer of that time to poorer people eager to get work. That kind of sharing had probably not been foreseen. The reduction of working time was in fact a total suppression of it. In times of election in France, Angers people should think about that.

23 April, 2012

The Angers medias editorial line upside down after the first round of the presidential elections

The local medias of Angers could disorient the voters. The two main daily Ouest-France and Le Courrier de l'Ouest were traditionnaly on tow different sides : the first on the left, the second on the right. It seems it's not the case since the first round of the presidential elections. And that is highly visible in the editorials published by these titles on April 23rd. 

Ouest-France wrote cautiously "the second round looks more difficult that foreseen... The situation is not simple for the socialist candidate, in spite of the impulse of the first round". But the (formerly) rightist Courrier "The presidential election is already packed. On May 6, François Hollande will win... The uneasiness of a society out of breath doesn't allow to the candidate president to reverse the situation".

But the figures are different too. For Ouest-France it's 28,6% for Hollande against 26,5% for Sarkozy while Le Courrier write 25,5% for the second. The editorial strategy could be problematic for the Courrier because in Maine et Loire, its main department of circulation, the winner of the first round is... Nicolas Sarkozy.

22 April, 2012

The results of the first round of the presidential elections made some Angers electors angry

According to some inhabitants after a few hours the Angers polling stations had been opened, the first round of the presidential elections could prepare some surprises. While a large part of the polling institutes and the national medias predicted a low participation, that one was, in Angers, apparently more important than foreseen. 

The second surprise came in the evening when the first Angers websites published the results of the first run : except Angers, the most important town of the department, Nicolas Sarkozy was ahead of François Hollande, its socialist contender. That infuriated Angers people against the national polling institute and above all the medias. 

A good example of the bias of medias came from the local daily newspaper Le Courrier de l'Ouest. While the results was largely incomplete, that Angers daily newspaper (considered as rightist before it was purchased, a few years ago by its competitor, Ouest-France) commented with some aggressivness the results, writing that François Holland was in good position "to oust" his rival... Some of its readers generaly considered as favourable to the right will have the staggers.

21 April, 2012

Confluence, a bridge between hearts

The passers-by at the Confluence bridge which spans the Maine river may have their eyes attracted by unusual objects along the guardrails : padlocks. These have been bolted on the iron parapets of the guardrails, inongruous protections for something which can't be stolen and in a inconvenient site where nobody would park a personnal property. These padlocks have not a material function but an affective one. They are symbol of love : the love padlocks.

Credit Picture : Anthony Calamayor
Some of them bear the engraved firstname of the lovers and the date the padlock has been bolted. for one of them the symbol doesn't make any doubt : the ant-theft device has the shape of the heart. Maybe the designers of the bridge didn't thought their work, which has already an very aesthetic allure, would engage lovers to declare one's love. But the place is romantic with over the babling river. 

Such a custom could not disappear because in the years to come the place around the Confluence bridge will be entirely redeveloped in order to allow the Angers inhabitants to regain its river and its atmosphere. Its name, at first marked by the presence of the River, takes now a totally different meaning : from the physical geography to the Map of Tendre.

20 April, 2012

At Angers Saint-Laud square, car drivers have time to watch the trains go...

If Angers visitors may have a favourable impression arriving for the first time in the city, because of the design and the greens of the place, inhabitants who come to that square to pick up travellers and to take them away may have a litte bit different opinion. During periods when arrivals or departures are numerous, the square and the parking areas demonstrate their insufficiency and the inappropriateness of their design. 

At a huge roundabout where three streets are arriving, it's alaready difficult to enter in the perimeter of the Saint-Laud square. Once in the site, the approach to the entrance of the Angers Saint-Laud station is only possible by a single and narrow way where it'is uneasy to drive because of the cars already parked on the right side and because of a hairpin turn with metal bike hoops on the left. And that is the most simple situation because most of the time, travellers stepping down from the cars must take their luggage from the back and need a few seconds to kiss families and friends (with boyfriends more time is needed...). 

Credit Pictures  : William
But the most unhappy users of the square are persons who are not sensitive to the special atmosphere of arrivals and departures of relatives because they are there to work : the buses drivers. On Friday evening, people happy to meet relatives after a working week are generally in a hurry to go back home where wives or mothers have surely cooked nice meals. But, because of the wishes of a single driver of a small car who parked his (her?) vehicle on the roundabout, its impossible to the buses to cross the square and then for the cars. And no hoopers concert is sufficient to make that car goes. 

The most convenient parking aera has been designed for the VeloCité+, set up there by the city. It's normal, these bikes are always there...

19 April, 2012

The debate on Sunday openings could not be closed

The debate about the opening of superstores on Sunday could re-emerge after an agreement was found a few months ago between the local trade unions, the state and local authorities and the owner of the Leclerc center of Saint-Jean-de-Linières, near Angers. The extension project of the commercial surface (+ 1 000 square meters) submitted by the owner of the superstore, Fabrice Jonchère, was turned down by the authority. 

"I need to extend my store to make it durable", points out Mr Jonchère who, because of the refusal of the widening, doesn't rule out the possibility to re-open on Sunday morning "to strenghten the sales et the 65 jobs". 

"The Carrefour market located in Avrillé [and other places] is always opened on Sundays that doesn't seem to create problem to someone", he remarks. According to the local observers, such an idea could generate tensions with trade unions and the Angers agglomeration authority which want to protect the Sunday rest but the same idea in other Angers superstores and maybe at the new commercial park L'Atoll overcrowded for its special opening during Easter. The Sunday is considered as a day for rest by public Angers authorities but the problem is the consumer look to rest while shopping...

17 April, 2012

The Angers "Station +" project is on the tracks

With the closure of the Black Bridge, the period of redevelopment of the district around the Saint-Laud railway station is starting.  The Yvonne Poirel boulevard near the station is in works all the week. But the inconvenience for the users of that way, as well as for the neighbours is only starting because all the wasteland along the railway line will be unrecognizable once the work will be completed. The re-design of that area is called "Station +" and aims to create a new district mixing offices, stores and housing on both sides of the railway line.

The Angers city wishes that the project will fuel jobs. This would be not impossible because of the location of the place very close to the high speed train linking Angers to Paris, and from there to (almost) all the capitals of Europe. So the city was right to invest money a few months ago in a connection which will make the travel between Paris and Angers a little bit shorter.
Credit Pictures Angers City

The hope Angers could harbour is the shortage of housing capacities of Paris and its surroundings will hamper the development of the private companies, forced to "delocalize" their offices in Angers. But that could increase the real-estate local prices...

16 April, 2012

The anglicized brand of the city mays angers but is not in danger

The brand Angers Loire Valley continues to fuel criticism, questions but also a little hope. The daily Ouest-France, in an inquiry about the results ot that initiative of Angers Loire Métropole after it was launched in January 2011, points out in its issue of April 16th that Angers Loire Valley is "An anglicism criticized but efficient". Presently, the city doesn't want to conclude too hastily and annouced it will realize a survey about the impact of the brand on Angers' fame.

 According to the observation expressed to the daily newspaper, the communication of the new brand has not given noticeable results. But the fame of Angers before the arrival of Angers Loire Valley was not better. A little hope came recently from Austin, the Texas capital. But is it surprising given that in US nobody speaks a foreign language (except Spanish)? And yet, in France, as in many countries in the world, things and ideas seem more fashionable once they have been adopted by English speaking countries. Why would it not be the case with Angers Loire Valley?

Another survey from the Angers Loire Métropole Development Council suggests to create an event to federate the inhabitants of all the area. It would be wiser to enhance a humble but continuing English-speaking positioning to give Angers a most important fame. But the most juicy part of the Ouest-France survey is its conclusion : in order to compete in better conditions in the field of communication, Angers town hall is recruiting (written in French by a French editor) a "community manager"! After all "Charity begins at home".

15 April, 2012

In Angers centre, a revolution may hide another one

Some pictures have sometimes a meaning which is different of the goal of the photographer and make think to an hidden issue. The daily newspaper Ouest-France published on its website on April 14th an article about a demonstration of people gathered to protest against the bloody repression of the regime against the civilian. The picture is taken on Ralliement square and display Syrian flags, banners and people shouting their legitimate grievances.

Credit Picture : Ouest France
But, in the background of the scene, the viewer can see the front side of the Nouvelles-Galeries superstore and a giant poster displaying the famous French soccer player Eric Cantona, who played several years at Manchester United, with is new wife Rachida Brakni. Mrs Brakni, French citizen and actress, was born from Algerian parents. In Arabic countries, where most of the time the state religion is Islam, women are not authorized to marry men having another religion (except if they embraced Islam). 

So the giant poster behind the demontrators recalls that oppressed population must not become oppressors in their turn. It is faire to support the Syrian people. But, one it will be ridden of its dictatorial regime, it will have to do another revolution : the freedom of women, in the background of the picture...

14 April, 2012

Angers englicized culture awarded in a national hip-hop competition

After an  Angers artist competed in a national tv show a few weeks ago, another one had just be recognized by a national title. Mounir Biba, a young inhabitant, has just one the French championship of hip-hop, the Red Bull One, organized in Lille, with fifteen other competitors. He had just been outstriped by Titi Robin, a Angers singer whose repertoire mixes musics of different parts of the world. After these two national awards in the artistic field, Angers could be stimulated to strenghen its cooperation with Austin, one of the world capital of music.
Credit picture Angers city

But it could be inspired to enhance the position of English in its positionning because hip-hop is clearly inspired by Anglo-Saxon civilization. Hip hop music is a musical genre consisting of a stylized rhythmic music. It appeared in US in the 70's. So the image of Angers, already (profitably) englicized with the brand Angers Loire Valley, can be developped in English for Exglish speaking people.

That US influence is clearly visible in the trajectory of Mounir Biba because he is member of the Vagabond Crew, a danse company whic won a lot of titles around the world. Mr Biba will be soon received at Angers town hall, a city which he is "proud to wear the colors". He will do so soon in the European hip hop championship.

13 April, 2012

Witht the possible disappearance of Thomson, Angers could close a chapter of its industrial history

Within a few months, Angers could lost what was, for a long time, a symbol of the time the city was a place for industry. Thomson, located on Birgé boulevard since 1957, which became Technicolor could disappear. The company, which gave jobs to several thousands of people, could enter in a voluntary liquidation in the weeks to come. The Thomson headquarter has decided to relocate the manufacturing of decoders from Angers to Vietnam. After they learnt the news on April 13, the Angers employees were stunned.

Such an outcome should question the candidates to the next presidential elections and probably, because of the incidence of that event with the electoral period, the factory will "benefit" of an important media coverage and of numerous promises from all the political circles. But all of them, a 15 years ago, sang the praises of the working time reduction which defintively triggered the loss of competitivity of Thomson as well as a lot of former industrial Angers (and French) companies  instead of tackling their budget deficit and public debt...

The Angers consumers will probably find at L'Atoll the new decoders manufactured in Vietnam. Angers city will probably convert the place of the factory into a new residential district. The owners of the place will find buyers for the building plot. But what will become of the employees who, for most of them, dedicated their lifetime in Thomson?

12 April, 2012

Citizen pride in Angers streets

Credit Myrtil Company
Angers doesn't want to imitate the famous Avignon festival, with its artistic innovations in the world of theatre. Nervetheless an attempt to stimulate the "citizen expression" will take place in the city from April 16th to 22nd. "Citizen expression", these two words could in fact replace another famous phrase of France during the seventies and the eighties : "the committed theatre". Under the title "To tell the world", the aim of that festival is to question every one about his part as a citizen.

The concept looks vague and a little bit preposterous. The event, through two Angers companies, Gaïa and Myrtil, wants to promote, once again, the "living together", which reflects a keen wish of French to make their culture universally recognized.  Unreaheased stages in the streets about the collective life of persons of different ages, the acceptance of handicap or the consequences of the numerical communication on daily relationships will be some of the issues, fields of reflections.

Credit Gaïa Company
That initiative recalls the recent launching of the work of "The city", a complex dedicated to the citizen involvement. Angers should rather promote its enterprises and the people who work in because, more than self-proclaimed generosity, they are the real instrument for political integration as well as social and economic cohesion. But France is maybe too sensitive to its self-lyrism.

11 April, 2012

The 2011 Angers electoral registration campaign at test in 2012 polls

With the set-up of wood electoral board near the future polling stations of Angers, the city is entering in a period of intense political activity because of the presidential then legislative elections due to take place from April 22nd to June 17th. In its website, Angers city details all the measures implemented to ensure fair conditions of vote for the four polling days. Towhall is presently recruiting assessors to monitor the dozens of polling stations over the city. 

Credit picture Angers city
This is not the first involvement of the city for the civic success of the polls. At the beginning of automn 2011, Angers city took (tactlessly) the initiative to stimulate the interest of young people to vote by registering themselves on the polling lists. If the city considered the results of its initiative were satisfactory (local medias were a little bit more reticent), the results will come soon.

While French medias and opinion polls foresee a high level of abstention in France as a whole, especially in popular districts, Angers could not be spared by such a trend. Verneau, La Roseraie, Monplaisir, Grand-Pigeon and Belle-Beille are potential tanks of abstainers. If these are numerous, the effectiveness of the campaign will be questionnable. 

But others potential consequencies could be analyzed. A high level of abstentionnism may trigger, inside the majority side in Angers town hall, a campaign of mobilization. Frederic Beatse and Jean-Luc Rotureau, its leaders will compete on that ground if primaries are due to take place. A low participation in popular district may favor the right candidate. After June 17th anothe electoral campaign may start.

10 April, 2012

Angers "tone hall" works on Music Day

Angers is preparing the next Music Day. Planned on the first day of the summer, that event gives to many bands, amateurs and professionnals, an opportunity to display their works and their passion. Angers town hall has started to register all the candidacies which will play in the bars, streets and squares of the city. Angers, wishing to give to the Music Day the largest audience as possible, will edit the program on its website.
The Music Day welcomes traditionnaly a lot of people in spite of its strange date : June 21st is a Thursday and the following day is a working day. Maybe the organizers ot the event want the people in good shape back to work on the next morning and to limit the night disturbances for Angers inhabitants.

Logically, the city should encourage the Angevins to a civic behaviour regarding the respect to environment (and the work of clean-up done by the employees of city hall and so its costs...). In the years to come, the banks of Maine should be a privilegied place to welcome the bands and their public. 

Maybe town hall will seize the opporunity to invite some Austin representatives, given that Angers bets on music to develop its (business) links with the Texas capital. But the amateurism is not always appropriate : there is nothing more business than the show business.

09 April, 2012

The new commercial Angers temple attracts faithful customers on Easter Monday

The interest of Angers inhabitants and visitors from departments around the Maine-et-Loire for the new commercial complex, L'Atoll, was visible on Easter Monday. Celebrated as a holiday, the crowd visiting that day the new park indicated that shopping is becoming a familly leisure as, formerly, was churchgoing. If the stallholders were driven out from the church by Christ, it seems today the commercial places are the new temple.

All the open air parking lot of the Atoll was full of cars. Several minutes were necessary to find a free lot. The most intriguing fact is, nevertheless, because of municipal regulations, some of the stores of L'Atoll had been announced as closed that day. Apparently, that didn't prevent passers-by from coming, some far from Angers.

This observation seems testify that Angers inhabitants, in their minds, have internalized the idea that prohibition of the opening of stores on Sunday and even public holiday are not longer taboo. Sometimes, the trend in civil society anticipates the change of regulations.

08 April, 2012

The Angers "City", social, not financial

The project is undoubtedly driven by good intentions but it could get out of control. Angers town hall has launched on April 6 the construction of "The city", but, in spite of its title, the goal of the Angers structure has nothing to do do with the functions of its London homonym, one of the most important financial place of the world. In Angers, The City could even be the exact opposite : the promotion of the selfless involvment to solidarity directed to the town most underpriviledged inhabitants.

Credit Angers city
"The associations are at the core of the development model of Angers", said the mayor, Frédéric Beatse, who doesn' rule out that "this political choice is voluntarist and maybe at counter-current" of the mood. In France, such an initiative obviously reminds a similar choice in favor of Houses of culture, made by many towns of France in the sixties. After a quick increase of their number in the seventies, there are no more than four structures still alive. 

The project, due to be completed in 2013, is financed by the Pays de la Loire authority and funds of the European Union, and would cost more than 12 millions €. But nothing is indicated about its operating costs. At a time of predictable austerity for Angers and France, the Angers "City" could be untenable. But, "the roads to hell are sometimes paved with good intentions".

07 April, 2012

The Angers Atoll : new outside, deja vu inside

A couple of hours walk in the new commercial park L'Atoll, near Angers, let an ambivalent feeling. On one side, the egg-shape of the complex, its outer translucent membrane, the fluidness of the acesses give a favourable a priori. At the way out of the blue underground parking lots, the sight embraces a circular park in which the vehicles are almost invisible (they will be invisible later, once trees and hedges will have sprouted). In the center of that green there are the restaurants for consumers not stuffed with purchases.

One at the level of the stores, some visitors could be a little bit disappointed : except for Alinéa, there is no real new brand. All the stores gathered in L'Atoll were already in Angers or in its commercial zones. So the park could have only displaced stores leaving empty spaces in other parts of the town. The second uneasiness comes from the quality of the goods for sale in the stores. There is no in L'Atoll the same touch, the same charm of shopping in down town. It's rather the extension of the superstores way of  shopping.

Another bad feeling comes from the bad-mannered behaviour of people for parking their cars : because of the crowd, all were occupying the cycling lanes and the pavements. During that time, down town was quiet.

06 April, 2012

The next Angers fair will get a special echo because of the war in Mali

The next Angers fair, planned from April 21 to 29, should have, in 2012, a specific echo because its "exhibition event" of that edition is dedicated to Mali whose capital, Bamako is, since a long time, twinned with Angers. That African and caritative touches of the fair will display a cooperation village and an exhibition about the Dogon people whose the land could be threatened by the civil war that erupted in the country a few weeks ago.

The North of the Mali, which could include the Dogons people has recently fallen under the Islamists' domination. Apparently, one of the member of the Malian community of Angers, Moussa Ag Assarid, who was elected at the Council for citizenship of Angers foreigners, may have joined the movement of the North independantists who proclaim the independance of the Northern part of the country. Such a decision disturb the Malian community of Angers.

A few weeks ago, the city of Angers lauched an intiative among young inhabitants and planned to send them in Bamako in 2013. Nothing is less sure now.

05 April, 2012

Pussyfussy on the opening schedules of Atoll for the Easter weekend

To be or not to be... opened. That is the question of some of the stores gathered at the new commercial park, Atoll, inaugurated on April 4th. The communication by the Angers medias on that issue could look a little bit confused for many customers. At the end of March, one of the local trade unions asked to the mayor of Beaucouzé, a village close to Angers where Atoll has been set up to prohibit the opening of the commercial complex on the first Sunday of its existence. 

Atoll by night (Credit Picture Angers city)
The day of the inauguration, the mayor of Beaucouzé allows all the stores of Atoll to open on Sunday, Easter Day, but makes compulsory the closing of the center on Monday. The following day, April 5th, another article, in the same media, specifies that the Maine-et-Loire préfecture recalls the prohibition for furnitures stores to open on Sunday, what includes the leading brand of Atoll, Alinea as well as others stores like Hémisphère Sud, Maisons du monde ou H & H. But for Easter Monday, they will be authorized to open!  The Atoll website didn't venture to mention the schedules of that day on April 6th...

Such a pussyfooting conveys the complexity and the nonsense of the French regulations in that field. On Friday, the furnitures stores owners of Atoll will gather to think about a common stance. To be or not to be... opened.

04 April, 2012

A period of austerity could arrive within months, according to Angers banks

Within a few months, the turmoil around the French presidential and legislative elections will end. But France as well as Angers could experiment, what be the political line choosen by electors, a period of austerity. Because all the difficulties of the state and territorial authorities will not have disappeared during summer, the wake-up at the return to work in september could be uneasy for companies, associations or institutions living from public subsidies.

According to several banks of Angers, that could especially be true in the health sector and in the structures created by municipal councils to manage specific aspects of inhabitants daily life. The financial difficulties of these institutions could even, in some cases, halt the payment of salaries...

Regarding Angers, some representatives of these banks consider it will be necessary for the city to reconsider totally some of its projects, among them, the play swimming-pool planned (34 millions €) to be set up on Les Capucins plateau due to open in september 2013. And regarding the Maine banks reconquest, no costs estimate has been published even if the financial constraints which, nevertheless, will shape the project. Apparently the monument dedicated to the restoration, in France and in Angers, of the public finances declared himself.

03 April, 2012

Soliings of the Angers La Doutre disctric are not anymore due to pets

While the sustainable development and the cleanliness of the city are common issues of talks and projects in Angers town hall, a curious habit is appearing in one of the Angers districts. It sends back Angers to a very old period of its history. A period what most of the people thought it was definitively over. A period during which inhabitants didn't have modern conveniences for their most natural and basic needs...

According to employees in charge of the cleaning of the public ways, some persons in the La Doutre district have got the use to relieve themselves... in the streets. If the number of public toilets in the city is maybe insufficient, it was also the case five, ten, twenty or fity years ago. And the problem was since "contained" to pets. So, the question is : who are these guys? Is the number of incontinent people increasing? Are the night-birds sicker than before after the "afters"? Or, more seriously, is the number of homeless people soaring?

What may be the origin of the phenomena, that one is far from brilliant to the city and even quite worrying about the ability of people to live peacefully and respectfully together. It is not sure to foot the shit in La Doutre will brings luck.

01 April, 2012

The Angers real estate sector on the verge of a slowing down

Credit picture : Seri Ouest
According to datas coming from private and social real estate companies working in Angers, the pace of construction of houses and flats has already decreased. After years of continuing boom of activity dedicated to compensate the negative effects of the financial, then economic, crisis of 2007, Angers Loire Métropole and Angers city had implented a boost of the building activity. That was not a bad idea because companies and workers got business and jobs. But now the resources of the public authorities are decreasing and moreover there are already a lot of homes and flats "for sale" in Alm territoriy.

Recently two companies, one public the other private, set the tone. The Soclova, a social housing company in which Angers city holds the capital, decided to decreased up to 50% its construction programs (from 300 houses and flats delivered per year to 150). In the same time, Seri Ouest, noticed that the economic crisis, the bank rates which are going up and the next presidential elections are reasons for the purchasers to postpone their projects. 

Credit picture Soclova
The converging analysis of these tow companies could indicate that the real estate activity in Angers is on the verge of a slowing down. It will be important that industry, trade and services economic activities take over from the building sector. But this is far from sure. What will be the result of the presidential elections, new elements could emerge after the summer period.