REPORTAGE – At dawn, the Prime Minister went to the largest fresh produce market in Europe accompanied by Laurent Saint-Martin, head of the LREM list in Île-de-France.
Jean Castex is in his element. In front of the offal crates or the garlands of pig carcasses of the immense pavilion dedicated to the triperie of the Rungis market (Val-de-Marne), Wednesday morning, the Prime Minister does not sulk his pleasure. “It’s beautiful! It’s a real aesthetic ”, enthuses the native of Gers, whose brother-in-law is a cattle breeder in the Pyrenees.
The head of government arrived at daybreak in the largest fresh produce market in Europe to lend a hand to the list of the presidential majority in Île-de-France, led by the Macronist deputy Laurent Saint-Martin, present alongside Minister Emmanuelle Wargon, candidate in Val-de-Marne.
On the first day of the reopening of indoor restaurants and cafes, the head of government came above all to send a strong message of support to restaurateurs as well as to the staff of the Rungis market. “It’s OK, you are going well?”, he greets at the bend of a stall. “As long as there is work, things are perfect!”, responds bluntly the employee.
The opportunity also for Jean Castex, satisfied with his welcome, to put forward his first assessment of the management of health crisis and to show his voluntarism. “The government held on (…), Rungis held on, the restorers held on. There is an extremely strong recovery, the government has been very united with them. It was the French who held on, who are going to make the recovery ”, observed the host of Matignon, according to whom “The people of France want to go back, to rebuild”.
It is barely 8 o’clock and after a bite of Pyrenean cheese, an espresso drunk directly from the counter, an oyster swallowed so dry, the Prime Minister does not hesitate to honor the traditional meal that ends any visit to Rungis. “The closing of the restaurants was tough, but it had to be done, and we accompanied. You were very responsible, whereas we could have been shattered, divided “, recognizes the elected representative of Prades (Pyrénées-Orientales).
And since the sales of calves’ heads have fallen during the period when restaurants are closed, Jean Castex sets an example, devouring his plate in front of the cameras. “I have to go, friends”, he squeezes before gulping down a piece of beef and a glass of red wine. His team must pull him several times by the sleeve so that he deigns to get up from the table and abandon the cheese plate that sits in front of him. He is expected at the Elysee Palace for a one-to-one interview with Emmanuel Macron.
Life takes back its rights, democratic life, you have to participate.
The head of government also took advantage of his trip to call on the French to “trust” and to “Find the way to the polls” in view of the elections of June 20 and 27. “Life takes back its rights, democratic life, we must participate”, he urged. The former regional then departmental adviser also underlined “The importance of these institutions” – departments and regions – to mobilize voters.
The boss of the majority praised the qualities of Laurent Saint-Martin, the head of the list La République en Marche in Île-de-France, “A very good candidate, an extremely serious man who has a lot of ideas”. “He will work very well with the government, it’s a win-win!” Still it is necessary, for the deputy, to succeed in dislodging Valérie Pécresse (Free, ex-Republicans) of the presidency of the region. According to an Ipsos Sopra Steria poll for Radio France and France Télévisions published on Wednesday, the list of the presidential majority wins and falls behind the environmentalists, in fourth position, with 11% of the vote.