In Blausasc, a stadium in the name of a Vichy collaborator sows discord


The ground of the Joseph-Merceron-Vicat stadium was offered to Blausasc by the company Vicat, which pays the village 1.2 million euros per year in exchange for the exploitation of its quarries.

It is a peaceful little town in the hinterland of Nice. Plush villas, a pretty square, the mountains nearby and a view overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. A village of around 1,600 souls which still organizes aubades, these early morning awakenings to music to announce the festivities to come, which cuts and delivers wood free of charge to the elders and grows organic vegetables for the canteen of its nursery school. So, for a few days, in Blausasc, the population has had trouble understanding why " we come [lui] looking for lice ».

At the end of August, the editorial staff of World received the signed e-mail from a "collective of inhabitants of Blausasc and the Pays des Paillons", also addressed to Nice morning. He recounts their attempt, for a year, to have the stadium of the town renamed Joseph-Merceron-Vicat. A beautiful piece of land, offered ten years ago by the Vicat cement works, which has been exploiting the quarries of the Alpes-Maritimes commune for more than seventy years and which sustains a good part of the village. To cut the ribbon, alongside the mayor, Michel Lottier (Les Républicains), there was Eric Ciotti, then president of the departmental council, who participated in the financing of the site, and the prince of Monaco, Albert II.

"It seems to us that in 2022 such reminders of Vichy and the IIIe Reich have no place in the stadiums... or anywhere else. » A member of the collective

Only, here it is: Joseph Merceron-Vicat was certainly the boss of the family business during the Occupation, which earned him this posthumous tribute, but he was also a Vichy member. From 1941, he sat on the National Council, a consultative assembly created by the Vichy government. At the Liberation, Joseph Merceron-Vicat was sentenced by the Grenoble court of justice, which judged him for treason and intelligence with the enemy, to ten years' imprisonment (penalty reduced to three years) and the total confiscation of his property (reduced to 1 million francs), as well as national indignity for life. The ancestor of the family is also on the list of 2,626 members of the Order of Francisque, a Petainist decoration.

“Forcing us to see this name on village signs every day is really odious. It seems to us that in 2022 such reminders of Vichy and the IIIe Reich have no place in the stadiums... or anywhere else", considers one of the members of the collective who wishes to remain anonymous. The latter sent letters for months to the town hall, to the deputies, to the Licra and to all the institutions they could think of. In vain.

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