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Montpellier mayor justifies his actions

MidiLibre/Scoop, Mar 5

Philippe Saurel, the mayor of Montpellier, was justifying himself at a press conference held on Sunday morning, where he dotted the "i"s and crossed the "t"s. This is what he said.

1 - A natural disaster

"The natural disaster claim process was started as early as this Friday. The snow fell heavily in Montpellier - 30cm to 40cm. Recognition of natural disaster by the government could take a month and a half, but when it has been recognised, that will allow both the city, and individuals to claim on their insurance.”

2 - A snow removal plan

"Let it be clear: we have a plan for organising winter maintenance. It was presented on November 30 to all general managers of services in the 31 municipalities of the Metropolis. Then to the elected officials, and shared with the services of the State. This plan included priority snow removal on roads and in strategic locations in the city.”

3 - Major material damage

“There has been significant damage to roofs and street signs, especially those struck by drivers at the height of the bad weather. The tramway, too, was very weakened by the cold. Branches have fallen, blocking the power to the motor. The chilled water inside the rail grooves prevented the switches from operating, while lifting the plates under the drives. Beyond 15 cm of snow, tram systems must stop in all cities, other than in Moscow where there is a rail preheating system."

4 - The usefulness of bypasses

“This snowy episode made us aware of the usefulness of ring roads and motorways. What happened there is the responsibility of ASF, Vinci and the State, including the management of the flow of 14,000 daily heavy goods vehicles. And the trucks that blocked the Zénith roundabout, Thursday morning, are not trucks from Montpellier…”

5 - Individuals must clear snow

"As in all municipalities, owners must clear snow on the pavements in front of their house."

6 - On political controversies

"At the height of the snowy episode, some elected socialists were at the Salon de l'agriculture, in Paris, drinking pineapple. Madame Delga even went to a paquito session. That's what the Socialists did while I took care of the people of Montpellier!"

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