Critical week for the “Ayraultport” at Nantes – with report by dialogue commission
The dialogue commission looking into the proposed new Nantes airport is due to give its report on Tuesday 9th April, to Jean-Marc Ayrault – the Prime Minister and ex-Mayor of Nantes. There have been about a hundred evidence sessions to the commission over the past 4 months. The commission’s chairman remains of the opinion that an airport is needed in due course, though there are some doubts about some or the arguments in favour of it. Opponents know of the apparent bias, but hope that at the least, the recommendations will be for more studies, for example on future air traffic. Two other reports are expected in the next few days. One is on the validity of the method of compensation for environmental damage proposed by the developer of the airport, Vinci. The other is to analyse its agricultural impact. On 15th April the French government will meet the EU about breaches of EU directives on water and environmental assessment.
Critical week for the “Ayraultport” at Nantes
7.4.2013 (le JDD.fr)
[Poor translation into English below – original French below that]
The dialogue commission gives its report on Tuesday to Jean-Marc Ayrault. On Saturday, opponents remobilise their troops.
CRS and opposition protesters in Notre-Dame-des-landes last November. (Maxppp)
This is the end of the lull in the “bocage” area at Nantes. And the guarantee of a tense week for Jean-Marc Ayrault, ex-Mayor of Nantes and supporter of the future airport at Notre-Dame-des-Landes (Loire-Atlantique), who was accused in December by Arnaud Montebourg to “the shit on the whole earth” with this project. The first appointment is on Tuesday. After about a hundred auditions in four months, the dialogue commission on the future airport will report to the Prime Minister. The commission’s president, Claude Chéreau, without disclosing its findings, said he was “convinced of the need to build a new airport in Nantes now or in five years,” in an interview with Ocean Press on Friday. But he did admit that he has “doubts about the relevance of certain arguments.”
The mission was clear: to make proposals to government on how to improve the dialogue between those pro and anti the new airport. Without commenting on the merits. CéDpa, the collective of elected opposition, has been interviewed four times, without illusions.
Genevieve Lebouteux, elected EELV, said: “In front of us, we had two members rather in favour of the airport, the president Claude Chéreau and architect Claude Brevan, and another rather unfavorable Rouchdy Kbaier, an environmental lawyer.
At the last meeting, Mr. Chéreau reiterated the need for the airport because of safety issues, noise … We understood which way the pendulum swings. ” At best, the “doubts” of the commission will result in recommendations, she believes. A moratorium, for example, or the need for further studies on future air traffic.
Europe gets involved
Two other reports are expected in a few days. That of a scientific commission, which must validate or invalidate the method of compensation for environmental damage proposed by the developer of the airport, Vinci.
And that of a commission to analyse its agricultural impact.
Between the two bodies appointed by the government, opponents rely primarily on the findings of the first. On April 15, France will also meet the European Commission (EC). In January, the EC called for explanations about possible violations of four directives, including water and environmental assessment. According to the responses of the state of Europe may require further clarification or modification of the project. Thus delaying the work expected to begin in 2013.
While evictions are again allowed in the holding zone (ZAD) where dozens of huts have sprung up, opponents of “Ayraulport” call for a rally next Saturday. For this operation, christened “Sow your ZAD” groups of people leave the neighbouring villages of Notre-Dame-des-Landes to recultivate expropriated plots of land.
Semaine critique pour l'”Ayraultport”
7.4.2013 (le JDD.fr)
La commission de dialogue remet mardi son rapport à Jean-Marc Ayrault. Samedi, les opposants remobilisent leurs troupes.
Oppositions CRS et manifestants à Notre-Dames-des-landes en novembre dernier. (MaxPPP)
C’est la fin de l’accalmie dans le bocage nantais. Et la garantie d’une semaine sous tension pour Jean-Marc Ayrault, ex-maire de Nantes et défenseur du futur aéroport de Notre-Dame-des-Landes (Loire-Atlantique), accusé en décembre par Arnaud Montebourg de faire “chier la terre entière” avec ce projet. Premier rendez-vous mardi. Après une centaine d’auditions en quatre mois, la commission de dialogue sur le futur aéroport remettra son rapport au Premier ministre. Son président, Claude Chéreau, sans dévoiler ses conclusions, s’est dit “convaincu de la nécessité de construire un nouvel aéroport à Nantes tout de suite ou dans cinq ans”, dans un entretien à Presse Océan, vendredi. Tout juste a-t-il admis avoir “des doutes sur la pertinence de certains arguments”.
La mission était claire : faire des propositions au gouvernement pour améliorer le dialogue entre pro et anti. Sans se prononcer sur le fond. Le CéDpa, collectif rassemblant des élus opposés, a ainsi été auditionné quatre fois, sans se faire d’illusions. Geneviève Lebouteux, élue EELV, raconte : “En face de nous, on avait deux membres plutôt favorables à l’aéroport, le président Claude Chéreau et l’architecte Claude Brévan, et un autre plutôt défavorable, Rouchdy Kbaier, un juriste environnementaliste. À la dernière réunion, M. Chéreau a redit la nécessité de cet aéroport à cause des problèmes de sécurité, de bruit… On a compris de quel côté la balance penche.” Au mieux, les “doutes” de la commission se traduiront en recommandations, estime-t-elle. Sur un moratoire, par exemple, ou sur la nécessité d’études complémentaires sur le futur trafic aérien.
L’Europe s’en mêle
Deux autres rapports sont attendus sous quelques jours. Celui d’une commission scientifique, qui doit valider ou invalider la méthode de compensation des dégâts environnementaux proposée par le constructeur de l’aéroport, Vinci. Et celui d’une commission chargée de disséquer son impact agricole. Entre ces deux instances nommées par le gouvernement, les opposants misent surtout sur les conclusions de la première. Le 15 avril, la France devra en outre répondre à la Commission européenne. En janvier, celle-ci a réclamé des explications quant à de possibles violations de quatre directives, notamment sur l’eau et l’évaluation environnementale. Selon les réponses de l’État, l’Europe pourrait exiger d’autres précisions, voire une modification du projet. Ce qui retarderait les travaux censés débuter en 2013.
Alors que les expulsions sont à nouveau autorisées dans la zone d’aménagement différé (ZAD) où des dizaines de cabanes ont fleuri, les opposants à l'”Ayraulport” appellent à un rassemblement samedi prochain. Pour cette opération baptisée “Sème ta ZAD”, des cortèges partiront des villages voisins de Notre-Dame-des-Landes pour remettre en culture des parcelles expropriées.
France: the calm before the storm at Notre-Dame-des-Landes
The winter was quiet in the ZAD, the area planned for the airport contest become the “zone to defend “for opponents. Its inhabitants, ” zadistes “lived in relative peace.Gendarmes mobiles are certainly still there, but the expulsions ceased for the work of the dialogue commission established by the Prime Minister last November.
The findings of the commission are expected in the coming days and expulsions could then resume. The ” zadistes “are dressed for any eventuality: they erected barricades with tractors and agricultural machinery to large farm Bellevue.
This site resistance is guarded by a group of farmers who sleep on site in turn, and who raise cows, pigs and chickens. For Cyril Bouligand, one of the farmers, their presence is essential: ” The goal is to be present to prevent irreversible.
Today, if we were not in Bellevue or La Châtaigne or in all places of the ZAD, they would have continued to clear and demolish houses. This was our role throughout the winter to protect these houses there, as the dialogue commission do its work. To be honest, we do not expect the project to be abandoned overnight. ”
Soon resumed deportations?
If the eviction attempts were to resume, the ” zadistes “rely on their barricades the police had great difficulty in the pus removed tractors and agricultural machinery, they say. Inside the ZAD, other barricades, plus crafts, multiply: piles of hay bales, branches, tires, corrugated and fences.
La Châtaigne, a hamlet of a dozen wooden huts, is well protected by these mounds. And young occupants of this area are more motivated than ever to defend their territory. The destruction of their habitat by police last November has strengthened their determination, says Camille, a young ” Zadist “:” We are already motivated to the database, but when we destroyed everything we had built, it made us angry! And anger gave us a lot of strength.”
La Châtaigne, strongly symbolic
This hamlet of huts was built at full speed during a massive demonstration, following violent clashes with security forces on November 17. Tens of thousands of people came to show their support, many have brought materials or huts kit and helped to build.
For Camille, La Châtaigne is the symbol of a first defeat of the government: ” When the government decided to expel us, he thought it was going to be set in three weeks, and we would not be there. And when they saw they were literally stuck in the mud, because it was winter, because the night was falling fast, because there is mud and because it has never dropped, there they realized they rushed into something that was going to take a lot of time.
“In fact, there are more cabins before today: it has meant to mobilize maximum people. I think that is a big defeat for the government. They created a symbol, even if it is not what we wanted, but in fact, they created a symbol of resistance. ”
For Philip, another ” Zsadist ” resistance is an action everyday, face cops who always watch the surrounding area: ” For four months, the police occupation has not stopped. It is an occupation in which we bridle our movements but that does not prevent us from evolving. But it is heavy. Depending on the mood of the police you can either go quietly before them, or you take an hour to control the outward and return journeys. And that every day. It’s exhausting. But we will not drop the case so far. This is not because they have decided to annoy us we will go so far. ”
Perspectives on the work of the commission for dialogue
For opponents, the dialogue commission is ” dust in the eyes “, placing only to accept the proposed airport: Indeed, the option of abandoning the project is not in the sheet drive from the commission. ”
Zadistes “and farmers have refused to participate. In contrast, other critics were heard: Françoise Verchère, General Counsel and head left co-chair of the group CEDPA (Collective elected doubting the relevance of the airport) was considered important to defend the arguments of opponents to the commission.
Now she expects requests for further investigations and a report of the project. To force a passage of the government itself seems unlikely: “I really do not see how they can now decide to go through. For many reasons: They are under the threat of litigation that we wear when orders “Water Act” will be taken. Today, we can not attack under the Water Act because there has not yet stopped. And most importantly, the mobilization has never been more important.There are probably two to three times more than shacks destroyed today. There is a farm occupied by peasants determined and supported by the entire population. There are 200 in the whole of France support committees who are willing at first to shovel or the first arrival of the police to show locally everywhere. I do not see how the Government, except to enter into a spiral of violence, it will assume, can now decide whether to continue.”
Julien Durand, spokesman for the Association of Opponents ACIPA and retired farmer, feels the same way: ” The citizen awareness is there. When given the opportunity to express themselves and they do not gag, you get what happens at Notre Dame des Landes. If political power is to remain in place, so it should take into account what it can cost us.”
And finally, in March, Europe is formally submitted by the opponents: the European Commission requests the French State accounts for breaches of environmental law in Europe. So a warning to Europe could allow the government to get rid of this project an honorable exit, now hoping opponents, which will begin on 13 April, sow, during Operation ” Sow your ZAD ” many vegetables in the ZAD to show that they have concrete plans for gardening and farming area.
To find out more:
Original article in French at http://www.rfi.fr/france/20130405-france-aeroport-notre-dame-landes-zad .
Original in French at http://www.rfi.fr/france/20130405-france-aeroport-notre-dame-landes-zad
.Other news about Nantes airport at Notre-Dame des Landes at Nantes Airport News