31 May, 2012

New financial constraints lead to new choices in Angers transportation policy

The financial constraints are starting to influence the strategic choices of Angers city. That one, which is at the same time the core and the wealthiest member of Angers Loire Métropole, buried, at least for years, the project of a South ring road during the last meeting of its municipal council on May 30th. According to Frédéric Beatse, the mayor of Angers, the [others cities of Alm], having to be associated to the project "will not be able to finance a ring road and the second trolley line at the same time" (estimated cost : 350
millions €). 

The choice, approved according different ways by the town councillors of the majority and the minority, could be implemented to other projects, above all the play swimming pool of the Les Hauts de Saint-Aubin disctrict and even to the New banks of Maine. But such financial constraints constitute also an opportunity for Mr Béatse to involve the town towards alternative transport ways, less individuals, less polluting and less costly in fossile energy. He plans to reduce the max speed from 70 to 50 km/h along the Maine express way and to lauch as soon as possible the surveys about the second trolley line and even an extension of the first line towards the South. 

During the last decades, many projects have been dedicated to ease the car traffic in Angers (the late is the doubling of the bridge over the Loire at the South of Angers). Visibly the policy has changed : the desire is to push back cars outside of town while at the same time to promote the no polluting and the collective ways of transport. So the burying of the ring road could be a beginning of a reapprisal.

30 May, 2012

The inaugural flight London-Angers points out the need of a tourism offer for English passengers

The aerial link between Angers and London opened on Tuesday with the landing at the airport of Marcé of an Embraer. Thirty three passengers were on board while the capacity of the aircraft reaches the double. If every responsible in Angers wishes the success of the line, this one is not yet achieved. And, in the next departure to London, only six passengers were on board... 

Credit Picture BA CityFlyer
But, that inauguration day brought some useful informations to the development of the line. First, at the arrival at Angers Marcé, if the English travellers were warmly welcomed, an essential element lacked : a connection by bus to Angers! "Elementary!", would have said Sherlock Holmes. Another element, basic to the understanding of the travellers, are the prices. After an experience on the website, the official price, 78 euros, is not always the one which has to be paid. 

Angers Loire Metropole thinks the London Olympic Games could be helpful. If that is possible, the event will not last after July, so Angers city will be advised to build an offer larger than the flight prices to attract English tourists. The absence of a bus between Angers and Marcé is an indication of what is to devise... The running of the new line is planned for six month. There is no time to waste. And "Time is money"

29 May, 2012

Michael Lonsdale, an English-French actor in Angers cathedral

The Angers cathedral hosts on May 31st a famous English-French artist, Michael Lonsdale. While usually, the christian name of Mr Lonsdale is written under the English orthograph, without the dieresis on the e of Michael because its the wish of the actor. Michael Lonsdale is born from a French mother and an English officer. Soon after his birth, Michael Lonsdale lived in the Channel island of Guernsey, then in London. 

While he performed in more than a hundred movies, as much as plays, Lonsdale is bilingual and is in demand for English speaking and French productions. He is best known in the first for his parts as the villainous Sir Hugo Drax in the 1979 James Bond film, Moonraker, the astute French detective Lebel in The Day of the Jackal, and M. Dupont d'Ivry in the James Ivory best director of Englands lifle, The Remains of the Day.

On the 31srt, he will be the reciter of the Honeggers' oratorio, King David with the choir of Saint-Marc (who sang in the movie The Choirists). Michael Lonsdale loves as well English and French. Interwieved on France-Culture a few months ago, he said that English was a soft language with long vowels he was delighted with.

28 May, 2012

The Solidarity Day, not yet solid in Angers

Under a sunny weather, many Angers inhabitants prefered Monday to stay home, for gardening or walk throughout the green landscapes of the surroundings cooled by the Maine. That would not be surprising if that day, the Pentecost, was in fact dedicated in 2004 to finance the solidarity between French. That initiative was triggered by a tragic event : the death of about 15 000 elder persons in France during the 2003 heatwave.

Apparently, Angers inhabitants don't have that memory. In Angers down town, except the Nouvelles-Galeries, Tati and the Fnac, no chains were opened. In the retail stores, no consistency was visible : some garment stores were running, others not. And all the administrations, the town hall ou public services like the post office were closed. So most of the companies subjected to the special tax allowing to finance that specific solidarity toward elder persons will have to foot the bill without any counterparts in terms of work by their employees.

Angers, which proclaims its solidarity toward many people and many causes, as many other French cities, even to set up soon a "city of solidarity" in 2013, should submit itself in a self-ewamination. it would not be suprisinf that, once opened, the city of solidarity is closed for the Solidarity day.

27 May, 2012

The disapperance of Technicolor predicts a grey future for the Angers industry

If the future of open air public events is, with the success of "All Angers is moving", rather sunny along the Maine banks, the destiny of the town's industry could be a little bit less bright. Technicolor, formerly Thomson, which arrived in Angers in the 50's and employed till 3 000 persons, declared itself on Friday in voluntary liquidation. The factory will run till September but, already, the salaries of May would not have been paid to the last 350 employees and Technicolor Angers is unable to pay its bills. So, if any solution is found, the factory will soon only be part of the industrial history of the city. 

The case of Technicolor runs of course beyond the mission of the city council but this one should take care of the situation of "its" factories because these still give jobs to many of Angers inhabitants. A few months ago, when he took office, the new mayor of Angers, Frédéric Beatse, said he would follow closely the competitiveness of the local private sector. But that wish is not yet visible. If, at the national level, the new government appointed a minister in charge of economic recovery, in Angers, nobody looks in charge of industry (only a deputy mayor is in charge of commerce and craft indutry). There is still an initiative to be passed. 

If Technicolor disappears, the perimeter of the factory could be used for real estate projects, but not in a next future. In Angers, the real estate economy is not booming anymore. About a thousand homes would be currently available for sale or rent. And no purchasers are in sight... Many projects regarding the embellishment of the city or the conviviality between its inhabitants are underway (new banks for the Maine, a giant swimming pool or a center for solidarity). These could fuel much expenses than revenues and have to be financed. That will not be possible if the local economy is in decline. Angers should move in that field too.

26 May, 2012

The availability of the Apple vice-president to the next Angers municipal elections reported

According to some informations published a few months ago by Angers Daily News, the preparatives of the municipal elections of 2014 were already on way. It was said that the left majority of town council was, at that time, looking to enlarge the list of its candidates in the next local ballots to new personalities. A news published that week by many French medias could confirm that perspective because they announced that Pascal Cagni, present vice-president of Apple for Europe, Middle East and Africa, would have resigned of his responsabilities in the Californian company. 

The economic magazine Challenges, and others medias, indicates that Mr Cagni, who joined Apple in 2000, "could involve himself in policy", the French media adding that "in 2002, the Apple France manager had unveiled his desire of a citizen involment". The Huffington Post, which made comments about his resignation from Apple, asks " did he choose to take benefit of his fame in order to attempt a completely different bet : policy, and, why not in Angers, his beloved city, at the next municipal elections?". Such an ally would be an important asset for the team candidate to Angers city council. 

Mr Cagni, who has considerably increased the sales of Apple in its perimeter, would certainly help Angers to reach a better aknowledgment at European, and maybe, American scale. That would coincide with the policy launched since a year in Angers in favor of stronger links with the English speaking countries. During the last week, Frédéric Beatse, welcoming pupils of an Austin primary school disclosed that one of its ambitions was to work about the acquisition, by Angers pupils, of better skills in foreign languages.

25 May, 2012

A mysterious jewels claim on the official Angers city website

Is Angers renewing with its English past? A very unusual page was published on Friday on the official website of Angers city. A petition demanding the return of the jewels of the British crown in compensation of an horrible crime of state. In 1499, Henry VII Tudor, new king of England, ordered the beheading of Edwuard Plantagenet, the last descendant of the Anjou male line who had reigned on England since 1154, a kingdom Anjou was part. 

Imprisoned at the age of 10, Edward was the last legitimate heir of the English crown and murdered for that reason. The authors of the petition consider themselves as the legitimate heir of Edouard Plantagenet and claim, because of the murder of their "ancestor", a right to a compensation. It is doubtful the British government will accept the demand. So what could be the real aim of such an idea? 

Since a few months, Angers city attempts to create links with the English speaking countries through music and education with the Texas city of Austin and the Saint-Edward University, but also through the next opening of an aerial line between Angers and London. The idea about the return of the jewels of the crown could stimulate a buzz about the city, which tries to enhance its tourisme business. The fame of the city could be more "gliterring".

24 May, 2012

Angers politicians bid over Technicolor

Technicolor, already threatened of closing, didn't deserve such a pityfull show. While alarming indications come from various sides about the next end of the factory tv sets, politicians of all sides are showing up of letters warning government to act immediately. It's high time!

Credit picture Angers city
A few days ago, a Maine et Loire member of Parliament, Jean-Charles Taugourdeau - whose constituency does not include the factory - wrote a letter to the new minister in charge of industrial recovery. His initiative gave ideas to others who decided to imitate him. The president of Angers Loire Métropole and the Angers mayor, Jean-Claude Antonini and Frederic Beatse recently warned the government about the loss of an industrial asset for their province. That has infuriated the Conseil général president, Christophe Béchu, who bemoaned the fact that he had not been associated to the initiative. 

Hopefully, the adressee of these letters is not campaigning for reelection in the june legilative ballots. So these messages of distress could be read. While the first run of the elections is planned within 15 days, these kind of political bids are surely not due to chance. It's a sad consolation for the employees to see that their fate is helpful for politicians.

23 May, 2012

For the Angers riverside residents : "the movement it's right now"

If the weather is clement on Sunday, the 3rd edition of the event "All Angers moves" could open to sportsmen, sportwomen and families the core of Angers city and, of course, the "banks" of the Maine river. By giving back that part of the town till now totally dedicated to the car traffic, this popular gathering is designed to make non reversible the New banks project in the minds of Angers inhabitants whatever be its cost.

Credit picture Angers city
That could not be impossible. Public has started to realize that the Maine river and its banks were assets in the development of tourism as well as consistency and cohesion of their city. The two banks of that one were till now more separated from each other by the express way than by the river (in fact, once in the express way, the pedestrians can't see the river). Recently a boat race took place on the Maine what demonstrates that, few by few, the river is catching the interest of the riverside resident.

With "All Angers moves", the people should also realize that the face of their city is completely different when activity is organized on Sundays compared to the rest of the year when streets, squares and gardens are deserted and when shops have their iron curtains lowered. So, it could be very useful and profitable that, on such an aspect Angers could move in its mind till now officialy opposed to the openings of stores during Sundays. In the end, it will not have escaped to people that urban "trail" is an English word...

22 May, 2012

The legislative ballots in Angers scarcely evoke the real economic difficulties to produce locally

Is the deindustrialization an important and, at least, a valuable issue for the candidates to the French national assembly? It's not sure. While all the notice boards displaying the candidates to the next ballot are visible in numerous places in Angers, the danger of death hanging over Technicolor, the manufacture of tv decoder, didn't catch the attention of the candidates. Except one!Jean-Charles Taugourdeau, himself a former businessman, candidate to his own succession, launched an appeal to the new minister in charge of the industrial recovery. 

The aim of his reasoning is simple : to win time because the managers of the Technicolor groupe plan to sell the Angers factory soon. But, the congressman seems to be naive because he says that this supplementary time would be sufficient "to transform the workshops toward outputs with high value-added using the know-how of the employees". The problem is not the ability of the employees but the costs of their work, i.e. the social and fiscal taxes the companies have to pay which make the outputs less competitive. 

Never-theless, such an appel has at least the interest to put the minister's finger on the real difficulty of its task. But, it looks a little bit naive, or prepos-terous, to believe the manufacture of high value-added outputs will stay in Angers and the low value-added products will be manufactured in the emerging countries because it's precisely on the first items that the difference of costs is important.

21 May, 2012

The French Angers born first lady went up to the G8 summit on "towering heels"

Credit Picture France 24
If the French president went up to the G8 summit, the French Angers born First Lady Valérie Trierweiler did it too. On "vertiginous heels" titled one of the numerous Us media which covered the first visit of the French presidential couple to Washington. The "Mail Online" looks to laugh about  "The girlfriend of France's new president [who for] her first official appearance at the G-8 first ladies' club... toured the White House in a pair of towering heels". 

The shoes of Mrs Trieweiler apparently suprised the editors who detected a attempt to be "as tall as Mrs Obama though, who [nevertheless] towered above all of her guests, despite the fact that she wore a sensible pair of flat shoes".The status of Mrs Trieweiler still intriguates the French English speaking press which described the "French unwed lady [as] demure and elegant".

Through Mrs Trierweiler who work herself a editor in the weekly Paris-Match, Angers maybe get an important prescriber who could help to promote the city. Few cities have such an asset. And no members of the government has such a freedom.

20 May, 2012

The archives of Angers mystery are in the gardens'museums at night

In spite of, or because of, the rainy weather which prevailed (and still prevails) over the Angers area, the inhabitants didn't stayed avay from the openings of Angers public museums for the 8th European Night of Museums. That year, the public met a wise association of the collections of the Angers museums, the Saint-John Hospital, the Toussaint Gallery and the Fine-Arts Museum with classical and contemporary music but also the floodlightings of their gardens.

It was maybe in these deserted places that the charm of the event the most operated. In the Fine-Arts Museum gardens, hundreds of candles had been set up along the paths what gave to the place a mysterious and solemn aspect. In the Saint-John Hospital cloister, blue and green lights concealed in the architecture created in the square medicinal gardens the quiet and mystical atmosphere the patients hosted there before their recovery or their death met for hours, days, months or years...

What was the most surprising and encouraging caracteristic was the mix of all generations of visitors throughout the galleries. Its is possible that art needs to be accompanied with cultural packaging to catch the interest of people. After a travel in history and mystery, a night was necessary for them as a lock before their wake up in daily reality. 

19 May, 2012

Rainy day for the daisies'ladies

It was an awful weather all Saturday long in Angers. As heavy rains dropped on the city, few people were in the streets and so in the stores. Even the few African pedlars always set up in front of the Mail gardens had even decided to pick up their items. Only a single "trader" nevertheless stayed on the pavement that gloomy afternoon. Immobile during hours, the most old and ancient pedlar of the Angers main street was in place.

At the corner of Alsace street and Foch boulevard, the old woman sells, for years, flowers for a few coins. Badly sheltered by umbrellas against the rain and the wind, she is snuggled up against a bakery which diffuses smells of cakes and a little heat. The woman's eyes are cloudy. She doesn't pay attention to the passer-by whose legs are the only movements of the monotonous movie she (maybe) distinguishes. 

Near her, there is a little bucket with two puny bouquets of daisies which looks as sad as their owner. The passer-by who buys one does more a charity than a purchase. A woman comes near her and give one euro. The old lady holds out a bouquet the "client" does not accept : "Keep it, you will sell it later", she says before crossing the streets, her mind probably sadler than the weather.

18 May, 2012

An Angers former inhabitant in the headlines of Us medias

Since a few days in France, a former Angers inhabitant has became famous. Valérie Trierweiler, whose family still lives in the Monplaisir , the northern district of the midwestern city is, since a few days on the national scene. And now on the Us stage because, as companion of François Hollande, the new French republic president, she pays visit to the White House. And nothing of what is related to the White House escape to the attention of Us medias.

Apparently, the conjugal status of Mrs Trierweiler is what intriguate the Us medias : "First lady without a portfolio (or a ring) seeks her own path" titled recently the New York Herald Tribune while Abc news writes "Protocol problem : France's new first lady is not married to the president". The main difference between France and the Us is, in the second country, nothing which touches politics is out the public domain.

The opinions of American newspapers are not unfavourable to Mrs Trierwieler. The New York Fashion points out she "buys her clothes from stores, like any normal person would". Some consider that she has temper : " French president's partner dubbed the new iron lady", according to Reuter what could signal a kind of cohabitation at the highest level in France (Credit picture www. Elysee.fr).

17 May, 2012

The Technicolor employees express their anger in English

While Angers officials think to the economic future of the city - the cultural sector, the environment field and also the electronic industry - a famous brand is dying. Technicolor, formerly known as Thomson, a tv sets manufacture which employed more than 3 000 persons more than two decades ago, gives very sad prospects to its workers. They made public their anxiety and anger in a placard set up on the fences of the company site, located on Birgé boulevard. 

"Yes we Cannes destroy", they wrote. It's a double allusion to the catch-phrase of Barack Obama during its electoral campaign in 2008 for the Us presidency and to the present international films festival of Cannes because Technicolor produces technologies for the films industry. The Technicolor employees look to have written in English that warning as if they were convinced to be ignored by the French authorities...

By a curious coincidence, the same week, the new French government appointed a minister of productive recovery. That one should come soon in Angers because there, events could accelerate. The next placard could be "Save our souls".

16 May, 2012

Angers mayors bets on competitiveness to develop the local economy

In a web talk on May 14th, the Angers mayor unveiled his opinion about the method to fight unemployement in the city. The key-word is competitiveness. "All our decisions must create the conditions of economic attractiveness on our territory. We act to attract new companies, to support very dynamic local industries, vegetable, electronics, providence", says Mr Beatse who says he meets regularly businessmen in order "to create with them the necessary confidence to investment".

Apparently, the mayor believes that with the tourism he wants to increase through the Berges de Maine scheme) " the cultural economy " is another field containing opportunities for the city : music, graphism and design are quoted. But no dialogue in the web talk mentioned the traditional sectors of the local economy.

One of the ambition of the mayor is to lead the city to a higher level of fame. For that reason, he thinks to revive the project of a local tv (whic knew several failure in the past) and dedicate interest to the connections of the Angers territory with foreign destinations, quoting the new line Angers-London.

14 May, 2012

The Angers tourism policy toward England on the runway

Is Angers an island? With the return of the tourism season, Angers Loire Airport resumes its business. In May, two lines open : one toward Nice, another toward London. After several months without regular flights, these openings are good news even if the true stake is their durability. That would not be the first time an attempt fails in establishing stable connections between Angers and others cities. 

The Angers Loire Métropole believes in the success of that new departure : " We want to display our ambition and our success model", says Jean-Claude Antonini, the president of the territorial authority, "These new lines will be an asset for our business and leisure tourism". The problem is, up to now, the content of Angers tourism policy was not very clear. It seems, through the opening of the connection toward London, the twinning with Austin, the choice of the Angers Loire Valley brand and the late Artaq festival clearly inspired by the US yarn bombing, there is a guiding line directed toward the conquest of an English speaking market. 

So the opening of a connection toward London looks more consistent than the line toward Nice (even with its famous Walkway of the English). It seems that the BA subsidiary, Cityflyer, which will operate the new destination from Angers, there is confidence, or at least, a will to develop the number of passengers (the one way ticket starts at 62 £). New settings of the little Angers airport will be deployed on time before the inaugural flight. It would be appropriate to hoist the Union Jack.

13 May, 2012

New elections, old faces

After the city has been covered by portraits of the candidates running for French presidency, other faces have replaced them for the next legislative ballots. Some new faces are appearing and other are still there. That's the case in two of the constituencies of Maine-et-Loire where candidates compete, one for his 5th mandate and another for his 6th mandate... in the French national assembly. In France, a congressman's mandate lasts six years. 

Crédit picture : National Assembly
It could be possible (but not sure) Angers electorate be weary and choice, in spite of political trends, new faces. There are seven constituencies in Maine-et-Loire (all, presently, won by men). Two congressmen were in their first mandate. Three have been elected in 2002. And two have been elected since more than twenty years. 

It has been said that the election of François Hollande at the French presidency was partially due to the simple desire of change of the electorate to have a new president. The defeat in the next ballots of these two proeminent figures would confirm that state of mind.

12 May, 2012

Changes regarding the development of Angers down town could be considered

With the first sunny weekend in Angers since more than six weeks, pedestrians had invaded on Saturday the mall of down town. The cafes and stores saw a lot of people and got probably a honourable turnover. The Ralliement square, already crowded, hosted kiosks of bikers associations eager to promote that mode of transport, both ecological and inexpensive. The interest of the Angers inhabitants could be real because, on the afternoon, the militants for bicycle welcomed a lot of people. Other kiosks, in Lenepveu street, were booked by cycles stores owners able to catch the interest of potential customers. The conjugation of numerous passers-by and animation in that part of the town may give ideas to the Angers municipal council. 

According to one of its members, a survey is on way to give to the core of Angers a special status. Already partially dedicated to pedestrians and bikers, the idea consists in enhancing the signage of the mall, to reduce the authorized speed to 30 km/h and maybe to extend the pedestrian zone. So the status and the design of some streets (Lices street, Plantagenet street along others) could change. And urban policy would not be the only stake. 

Some surveys would demons- trate more the mall is enlarged and dedicated to pedestrians, more the turnover of down town stores is important. In times of severe competition with commercial centers and recently the commercial park Atoll, city hall doesn't want to see the asphyxia of the core of Angers. The flux of customers could be increased because more than 4 000 cars per day follow the Lices and Plantagenet streets. If the interest of the store owners, town council and inhabitants join themselves, change could be "at the corner of the street".

11 May, 2012

A boat race on Maine in the course of Oxford-Cambridge

A British touch event has been organized on the Maine river on Tuesday by some sport sections of the Angers university : a rowing competition. An Angers media which reported the news immediately pointed out that such an event recalled the famous Oxford-Cambridge boat race. The participants, about both teachers, employees and students, came from the several sections (medecine, law, litterature...) of the Angers university. The race took place where the river goes across the city, like the Thames in London. 

The initiative is revealing about the interest of the Angers inhabitants for their river and gives some legitimacy to the "Maine new banks", town hall has decided to implement. Or course, the rowing race didn't attracted a lot of people what suggest that it should be planned during a week end for its next edition. Maybe the calendar of the event should copy the Oxford-Cambridge event, generally planned in march or april (the 2012 edition was organized durung a Saturday). 

What could be the elements for the success of the Angers university's initiative? One of the ingredient could be the size of the boat. In the English race, the boats host 8 rowers and a coxswain while in Angers 4 rowers were on board. This influence of course the size and the spped of the boats and therefore enhance the dramatic aspect of the race. The main reason of the world fame is probably due to the technical level of the rowers. Compared to their British counterpart, the Angers teams should start to train right now. (Credit pictures Angers Nautique Aviron and The Boat Race)

10 May, 2012

The sharp decline of sales of real estate worry companies and local representatives

According to observers and Angers representatives, the real estate activity is in sharp decline since the beginning of the year. According to local medias, around 900 flats and houses are "for sale" in the city and don't meet buyers. If, traditionnaly, electoral periods are not favourable to the purchase of real estate due to legal conditions which may change between before and after the ballots, this time the political period could not be the only responsible for this lack of interest. 

The economic crisis in Angers and everywhere may explain the situation because it shortens the visibility of people who need confidence in their future to involve themselves in such schemes. But some of the local banks are not eager to grant loans because international laws lead them to be more cautious on the risks they take. 

Some of the Angers political responsibles notice that several real estate promotors have recently decided to postpone the launching ot new building because those will not be sold in short time. If, a few years ago, many private promotors had sold their programs to social housing organizations, such an initiative could not be renewed today because the crisis has dried out the financial reserves. Because the activity in construction is declining, national groups are eager to compete for local projects, depriving the local companies.

09 May, 2012

English spoken in Angers municipal meetings

It's surely an anecdote and not a news but, in a public meeting dedicated to the start of a study on the urbanistic face of Angers in the 15 years to come, the presence of English words was a surprise. The city looks, subconsciously, attracted by English vocabulary and universe. On a document distributed to the participants gathered on May 9th at the Greniers Saint-Jean the famous English red telephone booth located in down town was visible. It illustrated a title about the "Angers Loire Valley" attractiveness...

But that presence of English was not unique. During a little video displaying the goals and constraints of the urbanistic local plan, the audience had heard a female voice saying (in English) "Angers is my favourite place. It's really what you call "La vie en grand" (Live large)" with the traditional accent. Well known in Angers, "My favourite place" is a tea room located in L'Espine street where "English (is only) spoken".

The voice made also an allusion to the next shortening of the distance London-Angers thanks to a new flight due to open between the tow cities at the end of that month. With the "yarn bombing" (an American set phrase) used during the present Artaq Festival, the city heads toward closer references to English world.

08 May, 2012

Through a new congress center, Angers unveils big ambitions in business tourism

The wide and empty space between the Le Quai theatre and the Front de Maine buildings could be the symbol of the present situation of the Angers tourism policy : an opportunity to seize. The field was, nearly twenty years ago, chosen to host the new "préfecture de Maine-et-Loire". But the project was never realized because, the French public finances, already at that time, was in bad conditions. It was said that an hotel could be erected there but no company answered yes. 

Credit picture Angers city
Angers town council has recently nominated four architects to devise plans of a new congress center with an hotal and is due to choose the laureat in 2013. That initiative of the city is appropriate but raise questions about the capacity of local finances to support the costs of the scheme. Undoudtedly, those buildings could fit perfectly with the long term Maine banks reconquest which could finally have a double finality : the former one, the reunification of the city around its river and a new one, the attractiveness of the city for tourists. 

Since more than a year, the city has decided to think to a new policy of tourism which is considered as an full-fledged economic activity. The brand "Angers Loire Valley" and recently the twinning with Austin, the state capital of Texas are indications of the ambition of the city in that fleld. The mayor, Frédéric Beatse, didn't hidden the city ambitions. 

" That new equipment will allow us to develop a center of excellence in business tourism. The financial fallout are estimated at about 50 millions euros per year and are essential for our economy and employment. Our goal is double them", he said. That could make necessary more flexibility in the Angers vision regarding the no working days.

07 May, 2012

The statements of Angers representatives do not predict consensus for the years to come

The statements of Angers representatives after the outcome of the French presidential elections from the left and the right parties do not augur the appeased relationships the country may need to tackle its economic and financial difficulties. In spite of the legitimate happiness or sadness after the results, most of the Angers political personnalities of both sides reacted to the event in partisan terms. Some of them nevertheless analysed the consequences for France once the elction period will be over. 

The men of the right camp have their eyes already fastened on the next legislative elections seeking there an opportunity of a better balance between left and right. "It is necessary to stay watchful, the legislative elections are coming. They must allow us to recover". Hervé de Charette is already in the tactic : "What is important now, it's the legislative elections. An union of right and center must take place in every constituency". Marc Laffineur, minister, is the most political : "There is now a third ballot". Others, like Michel Piron, congressman, wishes "People will elect congressmen thinking to the collective effort there is to do". 

On the left side, some, like Jean-Claude Antonini, former Angers mayor, are lyrical : "The victory is a big hope. In the years to come, the youth will get more hope. Our country will evolve with more freedom. Decisions will be made up collectively". But he also the harshest, saying, "Nicolas Sarkozy was not up to the task ". According to Frédéric Beatse, his successor, the new president "has demonstrated its ability to develop projects" even if he has now to carry them out.

06 May, 2012

End of the presidential campaign in Angers between evening and "mourning"

The 2012 presidential campaign ended quietly in Angers on May 6th. Once delivered, the result didn't precipitate in the streets many people even if, by some aspects, that evening was not an ordinary one. In the suburbs of the city reigned the same quiet ambiance as during the ordinary Sundays. Only from time to time some drivers celebrated the outcome with continuous klaxons and warnings. 

For the supporters of former president, the atmosphere wasn't of course lively. A fifty of them were gathered for a drink at the Angers headquarter of the Union pour la république (Ump) in Rabelais street, discreetly monitored by a police car at little distance. But, its maybe in the unofficial gathering that the sadness was the most visible. A group of young people assembled on a balcony at a building on Foch boulevard had opened the windows of the flat from where were highly audible the exerpts of pledges of their leader Nicolas Sarkozy. 

Or course, the ambiance were quite different on Thiers street where supporters celebrated the victory of François Hollande, speeding down drivers and brandishing flags of the elected president. Some neighbours watched the scene some curious and others bothered by the noise. In Ralliement square, the most ugly face of French (political?) mood with people shouting their joy to see Nicolas Sarkozy "ousted". With the return to work on next day, that kind of behaviour will probably diasppear like the electoral documents scattered in pieces on the pavements ready to be swept out as soon as the first hours of the morning.