The idea to include the harbour in the Grand Paris may seem surprising, how was it born
All left two speeches of the President of the Republic, last year. In the first, Nicolas Sarkozy was this sentence went us right to the heart on Le Havre, port of Paris, and the Valley of the Seine, foster axis of the metropolis. Among the ten architects of Grand Paris, Antoine Grumbach is the only one who has focused on the need for the capital region, if it wants in the future play a role among the global metropolis, to have a maritime façade and to focus its development on it. The second founding act was the speech of the head of State on the maritime policy of the France. There is the idea that our country should finally turn its sea front and take advantage of its privileged position at the forefront of Europe. At the same time, starting in 2009, we decided, Valérie Fourneyron, Rouen Mayor, Bertrand Delanoë, Mayor of Paris, and me, to work together to develop a project of development of this territory, and had already instructed our agencies of urbanism to reflect a genuine community of projects for the Valley of the Seine.
With what aim
The objective, it is to make the harbour Grand Paris marine window and the door of Western Europe at that time so important for globalization of the economy and the transfer of resources to emerging countries. Us like it or not, Europe is going to be in a form of dependency from the India, China and Latin America in the next few decades. It is necessary that we reflect on the correct answer, that we do not as a sole ambition to be a territory that welcomes tourists or simple financial place, but we have activities for research and new industries.
What specific advantages can make the Harbour
Today, 85 of international trade are by the sea. The harbour provides more than 60 of the transport of the continental France containers but 60 of French container traffic through foreign ports. We have a considerable market share to conquer. When we know that 1 million containers corresponds to a good thousand direct jobs and thousands of indirect jobs, we see that in terms of job creation, economic development, the margin of progression is important while the ports of range Northwest (Antwerp, Rotterdam...) are more saturated. A situation where the France would ensure its international trade mainly through foreign ports could one day constitute a disability.
What are the specific needs of the port
Must be ground infrastructure that allow to go to the Parisian basin, to the Switzerland, the Germany, or even North of the Italy then our competitors are now extremely well filled by river and rail networks. Today, the cost of transport of a container between Hong Kong and Le Havre is the same as between Le Havre and Lyon. It is said that productivity gains should be on the ground. Must be such a route of the rail freight to accelerate traffic. Do not forget the advantage of rail and water sustainable development path.
What will the role of the Seine-Nord Europe canal in this strategy
It will allow to go in the Paris region to the North, and including to Antwerp, which constitutes a potential threat to Le Havre and Rouen, but it also allows to go in the other direction. The challenge for us is to ensure that Toyota, Valenciennes, interest to Le Havre. This requires to implement a number of means, equipment, logistics to deal with this issue. It will be, for example, on the outskirts of Paris a major river port at Achères.
What is Le Havre would change its name to "Paris Port"
Non. The harbour is not intended to be the 21st District of Paris! Le Havre a vocation to be a great maritime metropolis backing onto the capital region and attracting new residents. The city develops already for some years a maritime-based life framework. We will double the capacity of our ports of pleasure. We also play the card of the modern city, of a long criticized urban planning that has been gradually recognized, now designated a world heritage. It is not anecdotal, this represents a considerable tourism and employment potential. We are currently working on a project of territory that covers both sides of the estuary and harbour would be a real marine metropolis of international level combining research, universities, recreation, culture, sports, etc. One of the issues of the Conference of the future is precisely to hear us on this project. And we can't let the gap Caen and the Basse-Normandie.
Is the opening of the Paris Grand sea possible without a line of high speed train
If we try to convince the State that a TGV is useful to theNormandy just to go faster in Paris, we have no chance of success and I will be the first to not defend this folder. Spend 6 or 7 billion to Rouen and le Havre of the Paris dormitory cities cannot be an ambition. This TGV can only be justified if it accompanies a real project of territory on the estuary of the Seine and it does not lead to a dead-end station in Paris. It must be that we can be connected to the Roissy airport and the TGV national and European network
It should be no representative of the State at the rostrum of the great Symposium you organize tomorrow in le Havre on this subject, is a mark of lack of interest on his part
Not at all. But the Government cannot yet announce concrete decision. It is the stage of a Bill which concerns only the Paris region and in particular the automatic metro. This is why we have not found necessary to invite a Minister. For Laurent Fabius, Bertrand Delanoë, and me, essentially for the moment is to show the common interest of all the elected representatives from Normandy and Paris for this project.
The Harbour has already paid a heavy price to industrial restructuring. Refining, the factory Renault's Sandouville are now subjects of concern
I have no concern in the short term. Total EUR 1 billion was invested in the Normandy Refinery. And Renault is committed to produce vehicles Sandouville. In recent years, there is in effect in the harbour of restructuring but also many investments. Over the past five years, the proceeds of the tax in the territory of the community of agglomeration has increased by 50 at constant rate. In 2008, the increase in the proceeds of the tax of the agglo provided 50 of the increase in the proceeds of the business tax of the entire region. We are a real locomotive! Unfortunately, he remains a unemployment rate important, 11.6 today, stronger than in the rest of upper the Normandy, itself worse off than the national territory.
Since this project Paris - Le Havre was launched, it raises the interest of investors
Curiosity, certainly. To include real estate developers, builders of industrial buildings, warehouses.
Over the past year, has the position of the President of the Republic on this project changed
Nicolas Sarkozy seems to me always as enthusiastic. Repeatedly, he again expressed the interest to the séquanien axis. In the great the great Paris Meccano, if something needs to get out by 2012, or at least appear on the right track, it is really Norman TGV record. Guillaume Pepy, the President of the SNCF is also very enthusiastic. Even if this is true, the record is complicated and expensive. Need to agree on the route and the possibility of a branch line from Rouen to Calais to double and the line current Paris-London. Experts say, in effect, that it will be saturated by 2020. Through Rouen would be not longer and to pool investment. It is an idea that matures.
After this Conference, what are the next steps expected
First, the initiation of studies TGV and the opening of the public debate from 2011. The Government already commissioned an expert, Jean-Pierre Duport, to define different possible paths between Paris and Le Havre, from Rouen, and with a branch line to Caen.
Could this big project be an opportunity to revive the idea of a single region Normandy
I want it that at this Conference team of Caen, Rouen and le Havre occurs strongly. The séquanien axis is the major axis, but the need to work with Caen is imperative. The idea of leaving out the capital of lower Normandy would so many negative reactions that is simply not conceivable. But the idea to introduce the concept of greater Normandy polluting the debate. Since 30 years, this idea floundering almost exclusively on the choice of the capital of this future entity. Yet, I am since long time a strong supporter of greater Normandy: young General Counsel in 1973, I remember having then wrote Alain Peyrefitte, Minister of the Interior, for the supplier to a large and the region. Without success...
What is the Havrais believe in this great project of axis Paris - Le Havre
The Havrais have way General, hard to believe this is still only at the stage of project. Our bid to classify Le Havre city Unesco had felt the same. The idea that Le Havre, after a lot of difficult passes, may have an opening on the world is difficult to pass. It could yet be realized until 2017. Doubly symbolic date, because it is not only the end of a possible second term for Nicolas Sarkozy, but it is also and especially the 500eanniversaire of the creation of the city of le Havre by King François I. This will be an opportunity to display with force our modernity, our will and our ability to carry us forward.