In Amiens, Emmanuel Macron faced with the deadlock of the Whirlpool file

Emmanuel Macron hardly likes to flirt with nostalgia. She is “Bad counselor”, explains the head of state regularly. In Amiens, visiting his native land, Monday, November 22, the President of the Republic therefore only addressed his past in a subliminal way. There was no question of the romanticized childhood of a “Provincial hero” former student of the Amiens high school La Providence, left at 16 to conquer Paris, as Emmanuel Macron sometimes likes to describe himself. It was simply a question of recalling that the one who is sometimes accused of being an enarque ” Aboveground ” also has an anchor “Territorial”.

Rather than evoking the past, Emmanuel Macron wanted, Monday, to speak of the future. And through that of Amiens, evoke the fate of this abused France which, like the former regional capital, has, in recent decades, suffered, in its words, “The bite of deindustrialisation”. But the president who, during his previous trip to the Hauts-de-France region on Friday, claimed to embody the camp of “Hope”, was confronted with an industrial France which seems inevitably to combine with the past.

Read also Article reserved for our subscribers Between Emmanuel Macron and Xavier Bertrand, like a foretaste of presidential debate

The visit thus took on the appearance of a personal pilgrimage with a cruel tone, during the exchange organized at breakfast between the Head of State and a dozen former employees or unionists of Whirlpool.

In 2017, during the in-between rounds, the former Minister of the Economy, then a candidate for the presidential election, came to meet the employees of the dryer manufacturer about to relocate. Faced with the National Front candidate who came the same day, Marine Le Pen, Emmanuel Macron had led a political, media and social fight. Solutions, at the time, seemed possible.

“We still have hope”

At a time when the tenant of the Elysee Palace is preparing, barring unforeseen circumstances, to run for a second term, during the April 2022 poll, this new highly symbolic meeting has brought him to the limits of his function. Adopting the formula of former socialist prime minister Lionel Jospin – “The state cannot do everything” –, Emmanuel Macron admitted the failure of various attempts to take over the plant.

Emmanuel Macron speaks during a debate with local representatives and public and private actors involved in renovation projects, during a visit to Amiens focused on the attractiveness of the Somme department, on November 22, 2021.

“I got screwed with you”, he confided to the employees. “First there was a choice to relocate the company. It’s a choice. We can challenge it but we cannot prevent it. The duty of the State, of the nation, is to support men and women ”, to train and find a job, he added to bounce back. In short, if the State cannot thwart free enterprise and its sometimes dramatic consequences, it can mobilize to put employees back to work by helping their retraining. A point of view that seemed to appeal to the staff present. “We still have hope”, confirmed at the end of the discussion Patrice Sinoquet, union delegate of the CFDT.

You have 55.28% of this article to read. The rest is for subscribers only.

source site-30