The owners of Marseille cafes and restaurants pleaded their case on Tuesday against the government decision to close their establishments in the face of the resumption of the epidemic. We will know this Wednesday if they have been heard.
He wanted to keep the sense of the valve. “We’ll see what sauce we’re going to be eaten in”, smiled Frédéric Jeanjean, the general secretary of the union of professionals in the catering industry (UMIH) of Bouches-du-Rhône. This Tuesday afternoon, they were a few at his side to stand tall in front of the administrative court of Marseille, which was examining the summary for freedom filed the day before by the UMIH, around twenty professionals and representatives of the business world and local institutions, all under the leadership of Regional President Renaud Muselier. The goal, to cancel the prefectural decree issued on Sunday which enacts the total closure of bars and restaurants in Aix and Marseille until November 11, in the wake of the announcements made Wednesday by Olivier Véran. A decree which, according to them, undermines the freedom to undertake – an argument justifying, with the urgency, the recourse to the summary procedure.
Before the president, the applicants’ lawyers tried to translate the anger that gripped Marseille professionals as politicians, who question the relevance of the measures taken by the government. “An unfair decision”, tackled Grégory Nicolai, the lawyer of the UMIH, “Taking of Paris by the minister who does not know the reality” Recalling that the sector represented some 29,926 direct jobs in the territory, “Without counting the non-salaried managers and all the indirect jobs, brewers, roasters, housekeepers, security company …” For him, the prefectural decree, “Caught in a rush”, is simply “illegal”, the opinion of the health authorities, in this case the regional health authority (ARS), justifying the decision not having been issued “Only after the political decision, which is announced by the minister on Wednesday”. The opinion of the ARS which, he emphasizes, does not mention bistros and restaurants among the main sources of the virus’ spread. “Is there a single piece that demonstrates this?” The word coffee is not even mentioned once in the ARS opinion, it’s magic! the lawyer gets angry. We have the impression that prejudices have led to the public speaking of a minister! ” And to recall that the professionals of the sector, who have already made a lot of efforts in recent months, find themselves in critical situations for some, with always uncertainty for the coming weeks.
“We are ready to toughen up the health protocol”
The representative of the prefecture answered him mainly with the figures, those of the epidemic which, even if an improvement could appear in recent days, remain worrying in the department and put pressure on the hospital services. “An epidemic is non-linear physics, we don’t know when it will ebb or burst. A prefect who sees such data says to himself that there are going to be difficult decisions to make ”, he tries to explain. Without convincing Bernard Marty, the president of the UMIH: “We made proposals, we are ready to tighten up the health protocol. We want to be next to those who are fighting against the virus and instead, we are shut down and we send people into nature “, he pleaded before the president. His decision will be known this Wednesday at 3 p.m.