“I have visited all our mayors and they are in favor of a return to co-management, well all of that is outdated. From now on, it is better to talk about shared governance! », Explains Patrick Bobet to La Tribune this Monday September 18.
And if the terminology has changed, the former president of Bordeaux Métropole, boss of the metropolitan opposition coalition (right and center) Métropole Commune(s) and mayor of Bouscat is determined to rejoin the metropolitan executive: “We want to bring added value to the Metropolis through our experience. With the additional delegations, what we want is to go further, stronger. In three areas that we were asked to choose and which are the economy, mobility and territorial cooperation. »
Patrick Bobet thus confirms his positive response to Alain Anziani, who proposed to him, during a meeting last August, to promote ten elected officials from Métropole Commune(s) to the rank of delegated metropolitan councilors. These are not vice-presidential positions but it will transform them from political opponents to partners in metropolitan governance. A typical situation from the era of co-management, where the socialist Alain Anziani was vice-president of the Gaullist Alain Juppé, then boss of the Métropole. And a way to respond to the increasingly pressing demand from elected officials from the right and the center.
“I am quite satisfied that common sense can prevail”
In the tense political context in which the alliance between socialists and ecologists (EELV), at the head of the Metropolis since 2020, is evolving, this promotion in the political organization chart of ten elected officials from the right and the center could cause the PS alliance to sway. /EELV once too many. It looks so much like a return of this co-management that the PS/EELV alliance had sworn to eradicate in favor of majority rule, leading to the anger of the opposition from the first day.
“I’m quite satisfied that common sense can prevail. This is the problem of politics in intercommunal management. If the metropolitan councilors were elected by direct universal suffrage, I would agree. But this is not the case. This intercommunality is not and cannot be a political issue. The forces present have no other choice but to cooperate to carry out the management of metropolitan intercommunality,” insists Patrick Bobet.
A “trustee of co-owners”
An analysis diametrically opposed to that of Pierre Hurmic, the environmentalist mayor of Bordeaux. Honed by years of municipal opposition to Jacques Chaban-Delmas then Alan Juppé, he hates above all this metropolitan co-management in which he has always seen only one “co-owners trustee”. Pierre Hurmic decided in 2020 to electrify the Bordeaux Métropole hemicycle by reintroducing political debate there. The liquidation of co-management is an essential prerequisite. A clear-cut position about which the environmentalist mayor of Bordeaux never made a secret before his election.
The problem being that his ally in the metropolis, the socialist Alain Anziani, defended co-management throughout his local political career. In 2001, he learned in depth about the mysteries of community politics when he became deputy in charge of city policy to the mayor of Mérignac, Michel Sainte-Marie. Alain Anziani then found himself at the forefront of co-management since it was Michel Sainte-Marie, who, with his Gaullist adversary Jacques Chaban-Delmas, mayor of Bordeaux, co-invented in 1968 the co-management of the urban community of Bordeaux!
Alain Anziani turns against his mentor
This historic co-management agreement will not suffer any hitches for half a century until 2020 and the election of Pierre Hurmic. Having become mayor of Mérignac in 2014, Alain Anziani became president of the Metropolis thanks to an agreement with environmentalists in which he will not hesitate to sacrifice the legacy of his mentor causing a powerful shock wave, by putting offside elected officials from the right and the center. And making more than one socialist advisor cringe.
The symbolic rupture is so badly experienced that the new PS president of the metropolitan assembly will be taken to task by the elected representatives of Métropole Commune(s) during his election to the presidency and the official declaration of his alliance with the EELV mayor of Bordeaux in front of the hemicycle. While the right denounces ae “triple political, human and strategic error”, Alain Anziani then appears coldly determined while giving the impression of justifying himself:
“We cannot govern the Metropolis without Bordeaux,” he says in a firm and tense voice.
In their attacks, his detractors add a strong dose of accusation, as if Alain Anziani had to implicitly admit to having murdered in public the memory of his mentor Sainte-Marie (died in 2019).
A metropolitan alliance too fragile in bad weather?
This sequence, which has the slight air of a senatorial crisis in the style of Imperial Rome, a period of Antiquity of which Alain Anziani is an absolute fan, is one of the key elements which make 2020 stand out as an extraordinary political vintage in Bordeaux which sees the right driven out of the Rohan palace where it had reigned supreme since 1947 and the arrival of Jacques Chaban Delmas. For ages purged by the Gaullists of its municipal fascism from the time of the Occupation, Bordeaux opts for a historic break by choosing an environmentalist mayor.
But on a daily basis this alliance between PS and EELV will pose problems that are impossible to hide under the carpet, differences of opinion which will each time delight Métropole Commune(s). The skill of Alain Anziani and Pierre Hurmic, who are both lawyers, was to foresee areas escaping the effects of their alliance contract, off-balance sheet accounts in a way, including for example the very controversial major motorway bypass project. But if an alliance as intelligent as this can function wonderfully within the well-oiled cocoon of co-management, the rolling fire of political combat will undermine its foundations.
Contradictions brought to incandescence
Caught in an exclusive alliance with EELV, whose political strategy suffers few compromises, Alain Anziani hopes to rely on the right and the center to see his own political objectives prosper, which the ecologists are fighting… A contradiction within the alliance which will gradually be brought to incandescence, as the PS will show to what extent it needs the votes of Metropole Commune(s): for the defense of Bordeaux Mérignac International Airportthere promotion of the Tarmaq project, support for the Girondins de Bordeaux or even the vote for financing by the Metropolis of the Grand Sud-Ouest railway project (GPSO). It is also this last point, at the end of 2021, which pushes Alain Anziani to agree to reinstate the opposition mayors in the metropolitan office in exchange for their support during a vote on the LGV.
Failing to form a sufficiently powerful political bloc, the PS, which had everything to become the master of the game at the center of the chessboard, was quickly forced to negotiate to obtain the political support of Métropole Commune(s), which, on the paper was completely acquired by him. But that, in reality, the PS will have to pay through increasing compensation, until the arrival of ten new delegated metropolitan councilors from the right and the center… For its part, by forcing the PS to negotiate with the right and the center to be able to govern the Metropolis, the environmentalists will end up putting the mechanics of co-management back into motion. At the risk of finding themselves locked into an operation that they absolutely did not want.
Asked by La Tribune, the environmentalist mayor of Bordeaux did not wish to comment.