22 October, 2013

A debate at Essca may foreshadow a possible 2nd run and an economic background of the municipal elections

Frédéric Béatse
A meeting about the local economy between Frédéric Béatse, current Angers mayor, and Christophe Béchu, president of the Conseil général de Maine-et-Loire, both of them candidates to the 2014 municipal elections, has clearly a double meaning. If economy is in the mind of many Angers inhabitants because the situation is quite worrying (increase of unemployment in the Angers Loire Métropole area, decrease of temporary workers, recent announcements regarding possible relocations or closures of local companies), the confrontation between the two political representatives is the real attractiveness of the meeting. The audience made no mistake about it : the event, due to the Interclub économique d'Anjou, a structure sponsored by some Angers private companies and public authorities, takes place on October 22th in the evening at the Ecole supérieure des sciences commerciales d'Angers without a single seat available.

The topic of the meeting " How to boost the economic dynamism of Anjou?" will surely be one of the most important stakes for voters who are also employees, managers, retired, jobless or students. During the last years, several debates illustrated the permanence of the issue in the public opinion : the struggle about a possible opening of stores during Sundays before Christmas and New Year days, some questions regarding the interest for stores located in the new commercial park Atoll to open all Sundays, the discontent of downtown retail stores about the difficulties coming from the increase of car park fares, and so on. The Anjou, severely hit by some important companies closures, the last being those of Angers Technicolor, is looking new ways of recovery : first the vegetable sector and more recently the electronic field, but these tools are recent and hampered by the international and national economic climate.

Christophe Béchu
It is not sure the debate will satisfy the electoral expectations of the public. The two candidates have, untlil now, carefully avoided frontal confrontations. So it would be hazardous tomorrow to look for a winner and a looser. But it could result in two casualties. Even if the participation of the two representatives is due to the fact they are both in office, the first damage could be done to Jean-Luc Rotureau (who has just resigned from its minority leader position in the Conseil général) as if that one was already eliminated of the likely second run of the elections. Another one could be the Angers mayor office itself if the audience had to conclude that in economy, the person in charge, whatever be its political convictions, is powerless.

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