Asked to allow the extension of the mandate of Catherine Pégard, 68, at the head of the public establishment of Versailles, the Senate has turned. Senator François Patriat, after a heated debate, preferred to withdraw the amendment he was defending with the support of the Minister of Sports, Amélie Oudéa-Castéra. The democratic ordeal is cruel for Emmanuel Macron and his government, who had concocted this legislative parade to keep the ex-journalist of the Point in the position she has held since 2011.
The amendment in question was to find its place in addition to article 15 of the bill on the Olympic Games. It provided that persons exercising the functions of president or director of a public establishment on the date of the awarding of the Olympic and Paralympic Games could remain in office until December 31, 2024. As soon as the site of the Versailles estate must host the equestrian events, Catherine Pgard was saved.
This was without taking into account the indocility of the fifty or so senators present, ill at ease in the face of what it is agreed to appoint a ” legislative rider »namely an amendment not directly related to the text of the law to which it is grafted. “It’s no longer a bill, it’s an equestrian competition”, quipped the communist Pierre Ouzoulias. Denouncing the “made of the prince”the socialist Sylvie Robert recalled that “to return a responsibility of the government to the Parliament is not correct”. Grinning, the ecologist Daniel Breuiller reminded the State of its promise of a “exemplary republic”.
Philippe Folliot, of the Centrist Union group, found himself well isolated in defending the amendment guided by Matignon, on behalf of the” efficiency “. Another centrist, Laurent Lafon, brought the coup de grace, with his authority as chairman of the culture committee, advising to withdraw the text. François Patriat has resolved to do so, not without recalling that “Versailles is an extraordinary object that does not change overnight”.
Why would Catherine Pgard, whose longevity at the head of Versailles is unusual, enjoy an extension, when her predecessor had not benefited from any derogation?
This parliamentary test marks, on the same subject, the second setback for Mr. Macron, who, more than his predecessors, has made Versailes the showcase of his power and his weekend residence, behind the well-protected walls of the pavilion. of the Lantern. Already in December 2022, a draft decree had been submitted to the Council of State. In response, the administration section notified the government of a risk of cancellation for ” abuse of power “. The publicity given to this theoretically confidential opinion raised the controversy. Why would Catherine Pgard, whose longevity at the head of Versailles is unusual, enjoy an extension, while her predecessor, Jean-Jacques Aillagon, had not benefited from any derogation? While some welcome its record, particularly in terms of raising sponsorship, while others put it into perspective, no one has publicly defended the temptation to twist the law without justifying exceptional circumstances or incomparable virtues.
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