November 27, 2021

In Béziers, Emmanuel Macron praises the possible “dream” of a reindustrialised France

Around Emmanuel Macron, Tuesday, November 16 in Béziers (Hérault), the decor is set. Large, century-old industrial buildings made of bricks and steel. In a France that some would like to combine with the past where, in the past, post-war wagons, caterpillars and tanks were made, the industry of tomorrow will emerge. The one that will allow the country to produce hydrogen on its soil. A reborn industry therefore, but also “Carbon free”, “Sovereign” and futuristic, promises the head of state.

It is therefore in Béziers, a medium-sized town shaken up by industrial and technological revolutions, acquired to the extreme right since the election of Robert Ménard in 2014, that the President of the Republic unfolded this story of a France “Resistant” and “Conqueror”, able to adapt to the challenges of the 21st centurye century. A France which seems the inverted mirror of the bitter and nostalgic country described by the cantor of decline Eric Zemmour, nationalist candidate expected to contest the presidential election of April 2022. A France at the antipodes, too, decreasing theories defended by some environmentalists for ensure, they say, the survival of the planet.

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At the heart of the head of state’s argument is the company Genvia. At the origin of a pilot plant for the production of high temperature electrolysers, which is part of the national hydrogen sector, the company is, in the eyes of Emmanuel Macron, “A nugget” capable “To transform the landscape of French industry”. Enough to grant it public support of 200 million euros granted as part of the 1.9 billion additional credits announced Tuesday to support the hydrogen sector. And in addition to the 7 billion already included in the recovery plan.

It does not matter that the opposition has accused the President of the Republic for several weeks of squandering public money, the stake is “Historical”, defends Mr. Macron. Genvia symbolizes in the eyes of the latter both the country’s capacity to take risks, by betting on a technology that is not yet mature, and its ability to evolve. Most of the employees of this company are former employees of the oil services sector converted to the needs of this new industry, which could ultimately decarbonize most of French industry.

Ménard’s homage to Macron

“What I am describing here is not a dream, they are projects and you are in the process of realizing them”, assured the head of state on Tuesday, promising to make the country a great industrial nation. “There is never inevitability (…), we never respond to the difficulties of the times by nostalgia for a past that is no longer but by redoubling our ability to resist ”, he insisted, inscribing, with reference to de Gaulle or Pompidou, his action in the continuity of “Those who came before us and knew how to deliver a nation to us with this industrial strength which has enabled us to hold out for so long”.

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