500,000 euros of public spending, in Doubs “this money could have gone to something else”

500,000 euros of public spending, in Doubs “this money could have gone to something else”
500,000 euros of public spending, in Doubs “this money could have gone to something else”

The Olympic flame is passing through the Doubs department this Tuesday, June 25. Lighted by pilot Sébastien Loeb in Pontarlier, it will end its journey in Besançon. How much did it cost to pass the flame? Far too much according to some. A choice made on the political side in the name of the values ​​of sport and popular enthusiasm.

She’s there. Since 8:20 this morning, the flame has been traveling the roads of Doubs. (Follow our live stream). It’s D-day after months of preparation and work for local authorities. Behind the moment of celebration, there is also a story of big money. The Doubs department, like all the local authorities which chose to host this event, had to pay an entry ticket of 180,000 euros. “The Doubs department has voted for an additional budget of 180,000 euros” Ludovic Fagaut, 1st vice president of the department, explains to France 3 Franche-Comté. A sum intended to finance activities at the various points where the flame passes, but also security costs. Overall, if we add the additional costs incurred by the towns crossed, a bill of around 500,000 euros.

For the FO union in the Franche-Comté region and its leader Fredéric Vuillaume, a figure in the yellow vest movement, these public expenditures are unnecessary. “The problem is that the government said it had to make savings on state services, 10 billion euros. And when we see the flame which will cost nearly half a million, the money could have gone elsewhere, in the public services which are on fire and which are short of staff” explains the trade unionist to France 3 Franche-Comté.

For us, there were other priorities while the French are struggling to make ends meet, like some retirees. People are not celebrating far from it, with the announcement of the reduction in unemployment benefits, changes to sick leave.

Frédéric Vuillaume, FO Franche-Comté Region

For the very active union in Besançon, it is impossible not to express this point of view as the flame travels through the streets of the city.

On the side of the Doubs department, conductor with the Paris 2024 committee of the passage of the flame in 7 cities, we assume this cost and this financial choice which represents a budget of 30 cents per inhabitant of Doubs.

In the middle, Fabrice Guy, last torchbearer of the Olympic flame in Chaux-Neuve, and on the far right, the lantern in which the flame travels.

© Elisabeth Khanchali / France Télévisions

“The event has a cost anyway, whether it is the flame, the Besançon music festival or that of the Europeans” believes the elected LR. Ludovic Fagaut, vice-president of the department, was able to witness the first hours of the flame in Doubs.

There were 6 to 8,000 people in the streets of Pontarlier. There is extraordinary enthusiasm, a focus on clubs and young people. We also affect an entire territory.

Ludovic Fagaut, 1st vice-president of the Department of Doubs

The man argues again. The passing of the flame is just one of the department’s actions in favor of the development of sport in the region.

The department at the end of the passage of the flame will be able to keep a copy of the Paris 2024 torch or its replica. The memories will also stay in the heads, for the party or its traffic headaches. The flame does not pass through a territory every day; for example, it passed through Besançon in 1992 and 1967 for the Winter Olympics.

The flame costs more than a Tour de France. In 2023, the departure cities which hosted the Grande Boucle had to pay 90,000 euros to ASO, the organizer of the Tour. For an arrival, the ticket price rose to 130,000 euros. And these sums have not discouraged certain cities from applying for a stage of the Tour. Nearly 300 sent their applications. For the flame of the Summer Games in France, 65 cities took out their checkbook to write a piece of the history of the Games on their land.



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