SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS, ARE YOU THERE? With the soaring cost of energy, some municipalities such as Béthune, Pont-Château or Quimperlé have decided not to not light the fir trees and garlands this year
In a context of energy crisis, some French towns have pulled a note on the Christmas lights this year. — X. Francolon/SIPA
- In Béthune, Pont-Château or Quimperlé, the Christmas celebrations will take place without illuminations this year.
- Several mayors have taken this radical decision due to the energy crisis and soaring prices.
- These elected officials promise, however, that the magic of the holidays will be present in their municipalities with an enhanced entertainment program.
One month from the return of the big red man to Agrave; white beard, Christmas lights get ready to shine sparkle in the four corners of France. Paris launched the festivities on Sunday and many towns are getting ready to celebrate. do the same this weekend. But this year, the hour is not the luminous debauchery. Between soaring energy costs and ecological awareness, the vast majority mayors have indeed decided; to reduce the sails for the holidays.
Some elected officials have even pushed the cursor further by simply doing without the Christmas lights. “A strong and frustrating gesture,” according to Olivier Gacquerre, UDI mayor of Béthune (Nord), who is explained by on his Facebook page. “Given the risk of shortages and cuts (…), we prioritize the consumption of the inhabitants of the inhabitants rather than lighting the outside, which could be seen like comfort in this time”,” he justifies.
“ the future”
In Quimperlé in Finistère, the call for sobriety energy has also been taken literally. On the banks of the Laïta, no garland or fir tree will illuminate the city for the holidays. “It would have been incoherent to turn on while being asked to everyone to make an effort” to the real estate heritage and to the energy transition. Before drawing a line under the illuminations, the municipal office nevertheless thought about; a less drastic solution. “We initially wanted to reduce the area but it’s complicated; because the merchants of the city are not concentrated in the same sector,” said the elected official.
Various left-wing mayor of Pont-Château (Loire-Atlantique), Danielle Cornet has also resolved to dispense with traditional Christmas lights this year. “It’s not a dogmatic vision but rather an awareness that we will have to do things differently and with less to do. the future,”said the edile.
The magic of the holidays despite all
As energy prices soar, removing fairy lights is also a way for elected officials to save money. In Tercé, a small town near Poitiers (Vienne), the bill rises each year to 1,500 euros between installation and lighting costs. “It’s a budget that may seem anecdotal but çit’s not for a small town like ours whose total expenditure reaches 750,000 euros each year” ;, indicates Christian Richard, mayor of Tercé since 2001. In Pont-Château, a town of 11,000 inhabitants, the total economy is at nearly 38,000 euros “part of which will be reinvested in entertainment”, underlines Danielle Cornet.
Because if these municipalities have decided to put the illuminations on standby, but there is no question of giving up the magic of the holidays. “On the contrary, we want to reinforce this magic by offering more entertainment and moments of sharing and by involving merchants and residents in the preparations,” continues the mayor of Pont-Châ tea. In Quimperlé, the elected officials are also preparing a more extensive daytime entertainment program with a few surprises. “And in any case, illuminations or not, that will not prevent us from having a good holiday,” concludes Christian Richard, who has not yet received any message of protest on the part of its constituents.