After a short crossing of the desert following his defeat in the legislative elections in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, here is Christophe Castaner (En Marche) arrived again safely. That of Fos-Marseille in this case of which he was appointed to the supervisory board and of which he could take the presidency at the end of the ballot organized this Friday. At the same time he was chosen to chair the board of directors of the French concession company for the road tunnel under Mont-Blanc.
What draw a new political horizon for the former Minister of the Interior of the first term of Emmanuel Macron. This news was initially greeted with hostility by the CGT of dockworkers in the Gulf of Fos basin. This Wednesday during a press conference, the latter turned into a force of proposal and called for an “emergency plan” of investments to develop infrastructures, in particular road and rail, in order to face competition from other major ports. Western Mediterranean Europeans (Genoa, Valencia, Barcelona, Trieste). In a document of about fifteen pages, the union details “its roadmap” which will be given to political actors. “Either our project is resumed and we develop the western basins of the port, or we will get angry,” warned Christophe Claret, the section secretary.
On the personality of Christophe Castaner, the trade unionist said he expected from the former “stripper”, that he “finds his social fiber from the PS” and intends to “judge him by action”. “We just hope he has the mandate of the Elysée”, he added. An early walker, Christophe Castaner, along with Stéphane Richard, ex-CEO of Orange, also appointed to the supervisory board, will be responsible for applying Emmanuel Macron’s vision for the Grand Port Maritime de Marseille (GPMM) developed in September 2021 during the presentation of the “Marseille en grand” plan. “The link between the port and the European hinterland will be the subject of new developments and exceptional investments”, had promised the President of the Republic. “Marseille must become the bridgehead of the Rhône-Saône axis. And in this respect, the transformation of the seaport into a large river-sea port going from Marseille to Lyon must be done. »
“Very good support”
An integration of the Edouard Herriot river port of Lyon into the GPMM in which Roland Blum (LR) does not immediately believe, six terms as a deputy in Marseille and fifteen years spent in the bodies of the GPMM. “It will be done more initially in the form of a partnership,” he believes. To do this, the GPMM supervisory board also welcomes Laurence Borie-Bancel, until then president of the Compagnie Nationale du Rhône. “There is consistency in this strategy”, greeted the former LR deputy who is delighted with the appointment of Christophe Castaner “He will support the port administration in its relations with local authorities and will be of very good support », Analyzes Roland Blum.
Beyond developing port activity, a new activity as head of logistics is taking shape for the former Minister of the Interior with a presence at both ends of the chain. Road traffic in the Mont-Blanc tunnel is marked by a very high proportion of heavy goods vehicles, which represent 41.8% of daily passages, according to data published by the Autoroutes et tunnel du Mont-Blanc (ATMB) company, which does not yet wish to comment on the recent arrival of Christophe Castaner in this public structure. And a large part of the goods transported come from the port of Marseille.
An envelope of 342 million euros
This project “is built around objectives that are obviously based on the Fos area with major industrial site projects focused on energy and ecological transition and obviously also on the development of the Mediterranean-Rhône-Saône axis” , commented Christophe Castaner. While the election for the presidency of the port supervisory board takes place this Friday, and Stéphane Richard could just as well take the lead, Christophe Castaner did not wish to express himself further, anxious to respect “the dialogue with port stakeholders”, he told us.
This new role is also a way of not leaving a heavyweight from Macronie stranded after its bitter defeat in the legislative elections and of relaunching it in politics. In her new functions, her role will also be “more political than operational”, advances Sabrina Roubache, Marseille deputy En Marche, reputed to be close to the presidential couple, for whom the “cumulation of mandates is not a subject. He has the legitimacy and is in direct contact with the political world and can facilitate the project through this channel, ”she assures.
To implement it, Christophe Castaner will be able to count on an investment envelope of 342 million euros until 2024 for the port. Still, the former Minister of the Interior is back in business to carry a version of Emmanuel Macron’s project. At 56, and after twenty-one years of continuous electoral mandates, he is back safely and on the road, although expected at the turn.